The Immortalization Commission

The Immortalization Commission PDF Author: John Gray
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780141041889
Category : Death
Languages : en
Pages : 272

Book Description
John Gray's The Immortalization Commission- The Strange Quest to Cheat Death raises vital questions about the 'truths' science can offer, the technology we are still exploiting for immortality - and exactly what it means to be human. At the heart of all human experience lies our obsession with death. For many years, we turned to religion for our answers, but at the turn of the twentieth centuries ideas from evolution and politics seemed to suggest that our lives - and afterlives - were in our own hands. These ideas would have both trivial and terrible effects, from the nightmares of H. G. Wells's science fiction and the wild, sweeping craze of seances to the murder of millions in the Stalinist terror. 'Our sharpest critic of utopian fantasies skewers the crazed but enduring dream of cheating age, time and death' Boyd Tonkin,Independent 'Elegant ... He is on to something important regarding the delusion that science consists of indefinite progress' Sunday Telegraph 'One of the most important and insightful polemicists currently writing in English... humanism's most vocal critic' Financial Times 'Gray is an engaging writer, an entertaining historian and a controversialist whose opinions can never be taken for granted' New Statesman John Gray has been Professor of Politics at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Yale and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. His books include False Dawn- The Delusions of Global Capitalism, Black Mass- Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopiaand Straw Dogs- Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals. His selected writings, Gray's Anatomy, was published in 2009.

The Immortalization Commission

The Immortalization Commission PDF Author: John Gray
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780141041889
Category : Death
Languages : en
Pages : 272

Book Description
John Gray's The Immortalization Commission- The Strange Quest to Cheat Death raises vital questions about the 'truths' science can offer, the technology we are still exploiting for immortality - and exactly what it means to be human. At the heart of all human experience lies our obsession with death. For many years, we turned to religion for our answers, but at the turn of the twentieth centuries ideas from evolution and politics seemed to suggest that our lives - and afterlives - were in our own hands. These ideas would have both trivial and terrible effects, from the nightmares of H. G. Wells's science fiction and the wild, sweeping craze of seances to the murder of millions in the Stalinist terror. 'Our sharpest critic of utopian fantasies skewers the crazed but enduring dream of cheating age, time and death' Boyd Tonkin,Independent 'Elegant ... He is on to something important regarding the delusion that science consists of indefinite progress' Sunday Telegraph 'One of the most important and insightful polemicists currently writing in English... humanism's most vocal critic' Financial Times 'Gray is an engaging writer, an entertaining historian and a controversialist whose opinions can never be taken for granted' New Statesman John Gray has been Professor of Politics at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Yale and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. His books include False Dawn- The Delusions of Global Capitalism, Black Mass- Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopiaand Straw Dogs- Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals. His selected writings, Gray's Anatomy, was published in 2009.

The Immortalization Commission

The Immortalization Commission PDF Author: John Gray
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374533236
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 288

Book Description
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title At the heart of human experience lies an obsession with the nature of death. Religion, for most of history, has provided an explanation for human life and a vision of what comes after it. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such beliefs came under relentless pressure as new ideas--from psychiatry to evolution to communism--seemed to suggest that our fate was now in our own hands: humans could cease to be animals, defeat death, and become immortal. In The Immortalization Commission, the acclaimed political philosopher and critic John Gray takes a brilliant and frightening look at humankind's dangerous striving toward a scientific version of immortality. Probing the parallel faiths of Bolshevik "God-builders," who sought to reshape the planet and psychical researchers, who believed they had evidence of a nonreligious form of life after death, Gray raises fascinating questions about how such beliefs threaten the very nature of what it means to be human. He looks to philosophers, journalists, politicians, charlatans, and mass murderers who all felt driven by a specifically scientific and modern worldview and whose revolt against death resulted in a series of experiments that ravaged whole countries. An urgent examination of Darwin's post-religious legacy, The Immortalization Commission is an important work from "one of Britain's leading public intellectuals" (The Wall Street Journal).

The Immortalization Commission

The Immortalization Commission PDF Author: John Gray
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141924268
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 288

Book Description
SUNDAY TIMES, NEW STATESMAN and TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR At the heart of all human experience lies our obsession with death. For many years we turned to religion for answers, but with the twentieth century came ideas from evolution and politics to suggest that our lives - and afterlives - were in our own hands. Such ideas went on to have both trivial and terrible effects: from a sweeping craze of séances to the mass-murders of the Stalinist terror. Gray raises vital questions about the 'truths' science can offer, the technology we are still exploiting for immortality - and exactly what it means to be human.

Modern Mummies

Modern Mummies PDF Author: Christine Quigley
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 1476613737
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 271

Book Description
For many, a mummy is an Egyptian pharaoh, wrapped in cloth, found thousands of years later in a pyramid by archaeologists. But mummies need not be ancient. Modern-day mummies can be found under glass in special tombs built in their honor, in private collections where they have come to rest after decades on the carnival circuit, in dissecting rooms of medical schools, and in the basements of funeral homes waiting for decades to be claimed by the next of kin. Stories about the famous (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Eva Peron) and the not-so-famous (Leslie Hansell wanted her body mummified to bask in the sun rather than being buried in the cold ground) mummies are told here in great detail, along with a broader look at the history and process of mummification. The book includes a comprehensive study of the successful prolonged preservation of the human body, and delves into the law and science of modern mummification.

Memory & Oblivion

Memory & Oblivion PDF Author: A.W. Reinink
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401140065
Category : Art
Languages : en
Pages : 1114

Book Description
Memory is a subject that recently has attracted many scholars and readers not only in the general historical sciences, but also in the special field of art history. However, in this book, in which more than 130 papers given at the XXIXth International Congress of the History of Art (Amsterdam) 1996 have been compiled, Memory is also juxtaposed to its counterpart, Oblivion, thus generating extra excitement in the exchange of ideas. The papers are presented in eleven sections, each of which is devoted to a different aspect of memory and oblivion, ranging from purely material aspects of preservation, to social phenomena with regard to art collecting, from the memory of the art historian to workshop practices, from art in antiquity, to the newest media, from Buddhist iconography to the Berlin Wall. The book addresses readers in the field of history, history of art and psychology.

Disturbing Remains

Disturbing Remains PDF Author: Michael S. Roth
Publisher: Getty Publications
ISBN: 9780892365388
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 300

Book Description
In Disturbing Remains, ten extraordinary scholars focus on the remembrance and representation of traumatic historical events in the twentieth century. The volume opens with essays by David William Cohen, Veena Das, and Philip Gourevitch. Their reflections on the narratives framing Robert Ouko's death in Kenya, Sikh-Hindu violence in India around the time of Indira Gandhi's assassination, and the 1994 genocide of Tutsis by Hutus in Rwanda offer fresh insights into the genesis and aftermath of these tragedies. The next four essays explore the expression of societal disaster in works of art and ritual. Lenin's image, Pablo Picasso's Guernica, balsa figurines of whites made by the Kuna of Panama, and Chinese fertility statuettes after Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward are the subjects taken up by Leah Dickerman, Carlo Ginzburg, Carlo Severi, and Jun Jing. Disturbing Remains closes with three essays about the influence of the dead on the construction of shared identity. Istv�n R�v looks at how Hungarians have dealt with the 1956 revolution and its executed leader, and J�rn R�sen and Saul Friedl�nder contemplate the public memory of the Holocaust in Germany and worldwide.

Post-Specimen Encounters Between Art, Science and Curating

Post-Specimen Encounters Between Art, Science and Curating PDF Author: Edward Juler
Publisher: Intellect Books
ISBN: 1789383137
Category : Art
Languages : en
Pages : 250

Book Description
This edited collection explores a subject of great potential for both art historians and museologists – that of the nature of the specimen and how it might be reinterpreted. Through its cross-disciplinary contributions, written by a team of art historians, artists, poets, anthropologists, critics and curators, this book looks at how artistic encounters in museums, ranging from anatomy museums to contemporary cabinets of curiosity, can provoke new modes of thinking about art, science and curating. Museological literature in the past focused on artefacts or objects; this is an original contribution to the field and offers new readings of old issues, inspiring new understandings of the relationships between art, science and curating. Brings together international expertise from art practitioners, historians, creative writers and theorists in France, the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Contributions from creative practitioners draw upon their own experience of producing artworks in response to specific scientific collections while historians, anthropologists, critics and writers examine how museums stimulate, incite and otherwise inspire artistic awareness of science and its specimens. One of the most important contributions this book will make is drawing together several threads of research and practice to encourage interdisciplinary discussion. It provides new ways of thinking about the relationships between art, science, museums and their objects. It concentrates on the ways in which scientific collections kindle novel aesthetic strategies and inspire new scholarly interpretations of art, science, curating and epistemology. In so doing it will make a considerable contribution to the fields of art writing, creative practice, art theory, the history of science and curating. This book will appeal to academics, researchers, undergraduates and postgraduates studying fine art, curating, museology, art history, the history of science, creative writing; visual artists, curators, and other creative practitioners. Also of interest to museum audiences. Reading list potential.

The Silence of Animals

The Silence of Animals PDF Author: John Gray
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141969024
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 240

Book Description
The powerful, beautiful and chilling sequel to the bestselling Straw Dogs John Gray draws on an extraordinary array of memoirs, poems, fiction and philosophy to make us re-imagine our place in the world. Writers as varied as Ballard, Borges, Freud and Conrad are mesmerised by forms of human extremity - experiences on the outer edge of the possible, or which tip into fantasy and myth. What happens to us when we starve, when we fight, when we are imprisoned? And how do our imaginations leap into worlds way beyond our real experience? The Silence of Animals is consistently fascinating, filled with unforgettable images and a delight in the conundrum of our existence - an existence which we decorate with countless myths and ideas, where we twist and turn to avoid acknowledging that we too are animals, separated from the others perhaps only by our self-conceit. In the Babel we have created for ourselves, it is the silence of animals that both reproaches and bewitches us. Reviews: 'The Silence of Animals is a new kind of book from Gray, a sort of poetic reverie on the human state, on the state, that is, of the human animal ... He blends lyricism with wisdom, humour with admonition, nay-saying with affirmation, making in the process a marvellous statement of what it is to be both an animal and a human in the strange, terrifying and exquisite world into which we straw dogs find ourselves thrown' John Banville, Guardian 'Interesting, original and memorable ... The Silence of Animals is a beautifully written book, the product of a strongly questioning mind. It is effectively an anthology with detailed commentary, setting out one rich and suggestive episode after another' Philip Hensher, Spectator About the author: John Gray has been Professor of Politics at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Yale and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. He now writes full time. His books include False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals and The Immortalization Commission: The Strange Quest to Cheat Death. His selected writings, Gray's Anatomy, was published in 2009.

Dreamworld and Catastrophe

Dreamworld and Catastrophe PDF Author: Susan Buck-Morss
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262523318
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 368

Book Description
The dream of the twentieth century was the construction of mass utopia. As thecentury closes, this dream is being left behind; the belief that industrial modernization can bringabout the good society by overcoming material scarcity for all has been challenged by thedisintegration of European socialism, capitalist restructuring, and ecological constraints. Thelarger social vision has given way to private dreams of material happiness and to politicalcynicism.Developing the notion of dreamworld as both a poetic description of a collective mentalstate and an analytical concept, Susan Buck-Morss attempts to come to terms with mass dreamworlds atthe moment of their passing. She shows how dreamworlds became dangerous when their energy was usedby the structures of power as an instrument of force against the masses. Stressing the similaritiesbetween the East and West and using the end of the Cold War as her point of departure, she examinesboth extremes of mass utopia, dreamworld and catastrophe.The book is in four parts. "Dreamworlds ofDemocracy" asks whether collective sovereignty can ever be democratic. "Dreamworlds of History"calls for a rethinking of revolution by political and artistic avant-gardes. "Dreamworlds of MassCulture" explores the affinities between mass culture's socialist and capitalist forms. An"Afterward" places the book in the historical context of the author's collaboration with a group ofMoscow philosophers and artists over the past two tumultuous decades. The book is an experiment invisual culture, using images as philosophy, presenting, literally, a way of seeing the past. Itspictorial narratives rescue historical data that with the end of the Cold War are threatened withoblivion and challenge common conceptions of what this century was all about.

The Image of Christ in Russian Literature

The Image of Christ in Russian Literature PDF Author: John Givens
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
ISBN: 1501757792
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 288

Book Description
Vladimir Nabokov complained about the number of Dostoevsky's characters "sinning their way to Jesus." In truth, Christ is an elusive figure not only in Dostoevsky's novels, but in Russian literature as a whole. The rise of the historical critical method of biblical criticism in the nineteenth century and the growth of secularism it stimulated made an earnest affirmation of Jesus in literature highly problematic. If they affirmed Jesus too directly, writers paradoxically risked diminishing him, either by deploying faith explanations that no longer persuade in an age of skepticism or by reducing Christ to a mere argument in an ideological dispute. The writers at the heart of this study understood that to reimage Christ for their age, they had to make him known through indirect, even negative ways, lest what they say about him be mistaken for cliche, doctrine, or naïve apologetics. The Christology of Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Boris Pasternak is thus apophatic because they deploy negative formulations (saying what God is not) in their writings about Jesus. Professions of atheism in Dostoevsky and Tolstoy's non-divine Jesus are but separate negative paths toward truer discernment of Christ. This first study in English of the image of Christ in Russian literature highlights the importance of apophaticism as a theological practice and a literary method in understanding the Russian Christ. It also emphasizes the importance of skepticism in Russian literary attitudes toward Jesus on the part of writers whose private crucibles of doubt produced some of the most provocative and enduring images of Christ in world literature. This important study will appeal to scholars and students of Orthodox Christianity and Russian literature, as well as educated general readers interested in religion and nineteenth-century Russian novels.