Bodies in Society
Education is about learning to think. Much of what we call thinking, however, is a hodge-podge of repetitious self-talk, opinion, and cutting and pasting of second-hand ideas. Moreover, thinking in the present has often been alien to scholars who were...
You May Also Like
Education is about learning to think. Much of what we call thinking, however, is a hodge-podge of repetitious self-talk, opinion, and cutting and pasting of second-hand ideas. Moreover, thinking in the present has often been alien to scholars who were tempted to think abstractly. But life and thought belong together and require each other, as Plotinus pointed out many centuries ago: "[T]he object of contemplation is living and life, and the two together are one" (Ennead 3.8.8). Presently, many women and men in the academic world are thinking concretely within the context of their own lives and with acknowledged accountability to broader communities with whom they think and to whom they are answerable. The essays in this volume consider Christianity as an aspect of North American culture, bringing the critical tools of the academy to thinking about some of the perplexing and pressing problems of contemporary public life.Three interactive and interdependent themes traverse these essays: gender, the effects of media culture, and institutions. Each of these themes has been central to Margaret Miles's work for thirty years. Each understands corporeality as fundamental both to subjectivity and society. Miles finds that Christianity, critically appropriated, provides ideas and methods for thinking concretely about life in North American society.
Margaret R. Miles is Dean and d Academic Vice-President of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and is President of the American Academy of Religion. She was formerly Bussey Professor of historical Theology at Harvard University. Her previous books include "Image as Insight: Visual Understanding in Western Christianity and Secular Culture, Carnal Knowing: female Nakedness and Religious Meaning in the Christian West, Seeing an Believing: Religion and values in the Movies," and, most recently, "Reading for Life: Beauty, Pluralism, and Responsibility" (1998).