De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)


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Female circumcision not mutilation: The ordeal is over in seconds. Doctors say the procedure will have no effect on the girl, her sexual pleasure in later life or ability to bear a child. In December, it passed a resolution banning female genital mutilation, which extends to the form of circumcision practiced in Indonesia. Procedures such as pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, cauterization or burning that are carried out for nonmedical purposes are classed by the WHO as mutilation, along with practices that alter or remove any part of the genitals.

The more extreme practices can lead to severe bleeding, urination problems and complications during childbirth, according to the WHO. A ritual dating back thousands of years and typically seen in parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, its most brutal forms require stitching together the inner and outer labia, or excising all or part of the clitoris. Indonesia says genital cutting does not take place and that it has worked to eradicate other more extreme circumcisions as it seeks compromise between conforming with international standards and placating cultural and religious traditions.

It banned female circumcision in but backtracked in , arguing many parents were still having their daughters circumcised, often by unskilled traditional doctors who often botched the procedure. While no official data is available to measure the extent of the practice in Indonesia, it is common among its million people, according to aid agencies. A study by the Population Council found that 22 percent of 1, female circumcision cases were excisions, meaning part of the clitoris or labia was removed.

Islamic foundations such as the Assalaam Foundation in Bandung say they ditched scissor-snipping for pinpricks. Jakarta has not indicated how it would enforce it. Nicole Suzis Slate Afrique Ma vie sexuelle est un cauchemar. Le cas de M. K, un jeune mannequin de 28 ans est plus triste.

Alors je souffre en silence. Je me suis dit pourquoi pas? Une semaine plus tard, il a su me rendre heureuse. Mes voyages me permettent de retrouver mon amant. En effet, dans son pays, les mutilations sexuelles faites aux femmes persistent encore. Saigner les femmes, saigner les juifs: Mais le lendemain, quel choc! Une rumeur terrible court: Ils risquent entre 6 mois et 5 ans de prison.

Pour le business, selon Isabelle Gillette-Faye: Ils devaient en outre verser solidairement Par la suite, rappelle F. Ce que Brigitte Mauroy, la savante, ne fait pas. Arc Les lesbiennes , Le Cavalier Bleu, , p. Sur le plan psychologique et social: Comme les y invitait ce matin une twitto: Y a-t-il une ablation quelconque? Mais nous parlons de fillettes. Ce guide indique p. Kavita Shah Arora 1 , 2 ,. Educational efforts have minimally changed the prevalence of this procedure in regions where it has been widely practiced. In order to better protect female children from the serious and long-term harms of some types of non-therapeutic FGA, we must adopt a more nuanced position that acknowledges a wide spectrum of procedures that alter female genitalia.

We offer a revised categorisation for non-therapeutic FGA that groups procedures by effect and not by process. Acceptance of de minimis procedures that generally do not carry long-term medical risks is culturally sensitive, does not discriminate on the basis of gender, and does not violate human rights. More morbid procedures should not be performed. However, accepting de minimis non-therapeutic f FGA procedures enhances the effort of compassionate practitioners searching for a compromise position that respects cultural differences but protects the health of their patients.

Procedures that surgically alter the external genitalia of children are quite common throughout the world, though the distribution varies greatly by geography. The majority of male children in America are circumcised. While years of advocacy and legislation aimed at eliminating non-therapeutic procedures on female external genitalia has resulted in a decline in the prevalence of the practice, the magnitude of this decline has been soberingly small.

In Egypt, the percentage of women who had any procedure that altered external genitalia performed on a daughter only fell from This relatively small decrease in prevalence was associated with minimal change in attitude towards the procedures. Immigrants to Western nations may continue to subject their daughters to genital alteration, 10—12 though the frequency is difficult to assess.

Since progress in reducing FGA procedures has been limited in states where they are endemic and the commitment of people from these cultures to these procedures has led to their persistence in states where they are legally discouraged, alternative approaches should be considered. Regrettably, academic and public health consideration of non-therapeutic FGA has been hampered by several issues.

First, there is no recognised nomenclature based on the functional effects of each of the several procedures that may be employed to alter female genitalia. Second, discussion often is infused with a strong cultural and gender bias against FGA in all forms.

Third, grouping all forms of FGA in discourse and condemnation assumes that all FGA procedures carry the same risks, which is medically inaccurate. Finally, authors arguing against all forms of FGA construe the concepts of beneficence and non-maleficence narrowly with regard to their scope, and too broadly with regard to their applicability.

On the one hand, they argue that physical well-being trumps social and cultural well-being. On the other hand, they argue that concepts originally used to apply to the actions of physicians are equally applicable to parents. We are not arguing that any procedure on the female genitalia is desirable. Rather, we only argue that certain procedures ought to be tolerated by liberal societies.

We hold that the ethical issues are no different for procedures that are performed as cultural or religious expressions by a minority group than for procedures that are performed for aesthetic reasons by members of a mainstream culture. Finally, we believe that all procedures should be performed with adequate analgesia.

FGA is a highly complex issue. In some forms, it is deeply rooted in traditions of female submission to their male counterparts. We by no means condone oppression. Given that most communities that practice FGA also practice male circumcision, some forms of FGA reflect cultural norms of gender differentiation that are more pronounced than in Western society.

However, in order to reduce the prevalence of the extensive forms of FGA, we propose a compromise solution that is ethical, culturally sensitive and practical. We will begin by discussing nomenclature, then describe the various types of FGA and classify them according to their effects. This revised classification will rationalise discussion of the subject, and should prove useful even to those who disagree with our conclusions.

After discussing the medical safety of FGA procedures, we will argue that liberal governments should tolerate de minimis procedures with no more effect than other accepted procedures performed on minors for aesthetic enhancement. In doing so, we offer a tiered argument and compromise solution—First, given that the more extensive forms of FGA are physically harmful and may constitute oppression towards women, these practices should be actively discouraged by means such as education, social pressure, regulation and prohibition.

Second, since progress at eradicating the extensive forms of FGA has been slow and the de minimis alternate procedures are not associated with the same risks of long-term harm, these should be encouraged as a compromise solution that upholds cultural and religious practices without sacrificing the health and well-being of female children. We acknowledge that issues of cultural sensitivity and gender discrimination in the disparate treatment of male circumcision and FGA could also be treated by proscribing both, instead of the position for which we are advocating.

In fact, many have criticised male circumcision as a human rights violation due to the lack of autonomous decision-making and the irreversible nature of the procedure. We believe this is an appropriate assumption because all Western nations in fact permit ritual circumcision of men. Much as circumcision performed by a mohel , ear piercing done at a mall, or tattoo performed at a tattoo parlour follow a series of steps in a regular, definite order, morphological alterations of the female external genitalia are also procedures, whether or not performed by a medical professional or in a health facility.

Also, circumcision potentially confers health benefits on the male child and on his future sexual partners. Reclassifying procedures based on their impact rather than the process as we introduce below , allows for a more informed and clear discussion of these procedures. Female genital mutilation is not an appropriate term to use for de minimis procedures.

These procedures are equivalent or less extensive than male circumcision in procedure, scope and effect. Indeed, they are equivalent or less extensive than orthodontia, breast implantation or even the elective labiaplasty for which affluent women pay thousands of dollars. Furthermore, a nick that heals completely is not mutilation in that there is no morphological alteration. Thus, in a liberal society that accepts male circumcision, room for discussion surrounding the acceptability of FGA exists.

It is essential to describe FGA procedures in a way that is accurate and allows people with different viewpoints to discuss issues respectfully. There are a myriad of ways various cultures alter female external genitalia. These range from minimal to markedly invasive and dangerous. Type I includes removal of the prepuce or clitoral hood with or without clitorectomy. Type II is the removal of the entire clitoris as well as part or all of the labia minora. Finally, Type IV includes pricking, nicking or incisions of the external genitalia, stretching of the clitoris or labia, cauterisation or the introduction of corrosive substances into the vagina.

However, this categorisation inadequately reflects the consequences to the recipient of the procedure. It has also not aided in discussion because of the wide variety of procedures included in each category, as well as due to omissions of some procedures altogether. We therefore propose a new categorisation that is based on the effects of the procedure, rather than the process.

Given that it is the health consequences of these procedures that are the most worrisome to international health groups, it is logical to group the procedures based on these effects, rather than groups of procedures with a wide range of resultant consequences within each group. Category 1 includes procedures that should almost never have a lasting effect on morphology or function if performed properly. A small nick in the vulvar skin fits into this category. Category 2 consists of procedures that create morphological changes, but are not expected to have an adverse effect on reproduction or on the sexual satisfaction of the woman or her partner.

Examples include surgical retraction of the clitoral hood or procedures resembling elective labiaplasty as performed in Western nations. Surgical resection of the clitoral hood is the vulvar procedure that most closely resembles male circumcision. Category 3 contains those procedures that are likely to impair the ability of the recipient to engage in or enjoy sexual relations. Clitorectomy, whether partial or complete, falls into this category. Category 4 contains procedures likely to impair reproductive function, either by reducing the chances of conception or by making vaginal delivery more dangerous.

Infibulation is an example. Category 5, advanced only for the sake of completeness, contains any procedure that is likely to cause other major physiological dysfunction or death, even if performed correctly. To our knowledge, there are no FGA procedures that fall into this category.

Due to a lack of data regarding the specific risks and outcomes with each FGA procedure, it may be difficult to accurately assign specific procedures to these categories. Being criminal in Western societies, they have not been studied systematically. However, Type 1 and 2 procedures have counterparts in Western gynaecology.

Accidental traumatic lacerations of the labia majora are not uncommon. While longer and deeper than a controlled nick, and not created under clean conditions, they almost always heal without sequelae. The similarity of removal of the clitoral hood to male circumcision and of labial excision to aesthetic labial reduction procedures is sufficiently close that the effects can reasonably be considered identical pending empirical proof. At the other end of the spectrum, the more extensive procedures such as infibulation are associated with risks such as severe bleeding, infection, obstructed labour, dyspareunia, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

We acknowledge three shortcomings of this classification. First, it is not entirely stable; procedures could shift from one category to another if the common understanding of their effect changes. Second, there may not be agreement on the effects. Finally, procedures are grouped in their anticipated risk profile, not in the actual risk profile for each patient. For example, while infibulation is likely to cause long-term sexual and reproductive health impairments, it does not normally lead to death and therefore is not placed in that category.


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That is not to say it does not ever lead to death, but the anticipated impact is not death. Of course, the issue of harm is the heart of the distinction in the categorisation of FGA that we propose. While any procedure is associated with several predictable short-term risks namely bleeding and infection , the long-term sequelae should be rare for Category 1 and Category 2 procedures. In a WHO study, there were no statistically significant differences in health outcomes between those women that underwent Type I surgery equivalent to our Category 2 and those that had no surgery.

This is in stark contrast to the risks of Category 3 and 4 procedures which are severe: Critics of FGA have pointed out that there is no medical benefit to factor in the risk versus benefit calculus so often used in medicine and when compared with male circumcision. First, the practice in question must not significantly burden either society or its members outside the group. Second, the practice must not A create burdens that a reasonable person outside the group would not accept for himself, or that a reasonable parent would not accept for her child such as child marriage or slavery ; or B carry a substantial chance of death or of major disruption of a physiological function.

Third, the burden on society or individuals must be actual and substantial, and not hypothetical or unlikely. All of these criteria must be satisfied if a government is to tolerate the practice, and we argue that governments should tolerate procedures under these circumstances. Categories 1 and 2 of FGA but not Categories 3—5 fulfil these criteria and thus, a government or regulatory agency does not have a medical basis for interfering with a parental decision to practice a cultural or religious belief. The standard that guides ethical and legal decision-making on behalf of children is the best interests standard.

At least in USA, the best interests of a child are determined by judicial and quasi-judicial decisions in individual cases, rather than arising from an established heuristic that would almost always predict the decision prospectively.


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We acknowledge that not all procedures eg, Category 2 procedures such as removal of the clitoral hood or labia minora are technically feasible or commonly performed in prepubertal children. The best interests of a child encompass physical well-being, and social, economic, psychological and spiritual well-being. That the human rights movement accepts this view is clear from documents such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which does not privilege the physical well-being of children over other types of well-being.

Second, analysis of issues in medical ethics generally regards principles as being prima facie in nature, rather than absolute. Therefore, important emotional and social considerations can trump minor medical considerations. Third, the transactional costs of governmental action to stop parents from subjecting children to these procedures must be considered. For this reason, the Royal Dutch Medical Society stopped short of advocating that male circumcision be outlawed for fear that the practice would be driven underground.

Whether parents who otherwise are uncontroversially adequate, are fined, imprisoned or lose parental rights because they subject their children to FGA, the child will suffer. Therefore, we must ask what harm is befalling the child. Procedures that compromise sexual function, sexual enjoyment and reproductive capacity clearly violate the best interest of the child. De minimis procedures such as removal of the clitoral hood or a ritual nick on the external female genitalia Categories 1 and 2 cause little or no functional harm.

Therefore, it is difficult to characterise them as unethical or a human rights violation. We re-emphasise that we do not support the more severe FGA procedures Categories 3—5 , nor would we diminish international efforts to end the practice of these procedures, with their resultant harm to sexual and reproductive function. We believe it is ethically appropriate to work for their elimination through the legal system as well as through educational and grass-roots efforts, for the sake of the female children that are subjected to these dangerous procedures.

Opposition to these de minimis procedures on female genitalia inhibits the effort of compassionate practitioners searching for a compromise procedure to respect the culture but safeguard the health of their patients. Instead of receiving Category 1 or 2 procedures, girls may continue to receive more extensive procedures underground in the USA or in their home countries because there is no safe alternative.

Furthermore, outsiders to a religious tradition cannot infer the practices of a religious system from a literal reading of its canonical texts. It is no more possible to define Islam within the four corners of the Quran than to define Christianity which includes traditions ranging from Presbyterian to Pentecostal to Greek Orthodoxy solely from a reading of the Bible.

Rather, the content of religious belief and practice are guided by interpretive texts and traditions. Though not prescribed explicitly in the Quran , the practice thus is religiously virtuous. In fact, the colloquial term for FGA procedures in Arabic refers to a ritual state of purity. FGA also has strong cultural ties that are not explicitly religious. While objectionable to some Western feminists, marriage is associated strongly with quality of life in these traditions.

In some cultural milieus, a woman who has not undergone a procedure to alter her external genitalia may find it difficult to marry. It is important to note that the debate does not need to simply distil to the irreconcilable positions of cultural relativism and universalism. Policies that attempt to suppress all forms of FGA that alter female external genitalia are culturally supremacist. Members of a majority culture are more likely to consider their own practices voluntary, reasonable and even desirable, while perceiving minority practices such as FGA by female African Muslims as unreasonable, coercive and unacceptable.

The law is likely unconstitutional and should be altered to allow for religious and cultural freedom for a safe procedure that does not result in long-term harm.

We approach this subject with the understanding that most of the cultures and communities that practice FGA also practice male circumcision. To the extent that Category 1 and Category 2 procedures are intended to curb sexual desire, the same is true of comparable procedures performed on boys. The balance of medical evidence demonstrates that male circumcision does not negatively affect male sexuality, though the data are neither consistent nor methodologically optimal.

The goal of curbing sexual desire is debateable, but if it applies to men and women there are no discrimination issues. Furthermore, if a procedure intended to curb sexual desire does not, in fact, do so, then restricting it assumes low priority. To the extent that gender discrimination is present, it lies in restrictive policies towards Categories 1 and 2 of FGA. Laws that prohibit these procedures and international advocacy against them are culturally insensitive and supremacist and discriminatory towards women.

Male circumcision is legal in USA and tolerated in most of the world, even when done by non-medical practitioners in the home. Categories 1 and 2 of FGA have been called misogynistic because the aim is usually to curb female sexuality and thus oppress women. However, if removal of the prepuce curbs sexuality as has been argued, though contrary to the best evidence , then male circumcision should be viewed as misandrist. If, on the other hand, removal of the prepuce does not curb sexuality, then the basis for claiming the practice as misogynistic is invalidated.

Furthermore, it is almost exclusively women who are penalised for the crime of FGA in areas it has been outlawed. Thus, Categories 3, 4 and 5 of FGA are certainly human rights violations as they violate bodily integrity and cause long-term harm but not because they lack medical benefit. Other examples of procedures that lack medical benefit but are not classified as human rights violations that society accepts though perhaps does not ethically condone include piercings, cosmetic surgery, removal of an asymptomatic ganglion cyst, etc. Also, neonatal boys are certainly just as vulnerable as girls.

In analysing the putative harm done by rites involving genital procedures, we must ask ourselves whether it actually is harmful in the eyes of the people involved, or whether the harm is perceived only by people who view the situation from a different perspective. Recognising that a society is entitled to protect its own values, even if these are not universal values, we nevertheless believe that it is rarely appropriate for governments to intrude into familial, cultural and religious practices that create little tangible harm. Finally, while parenthood certainly does not connote unrestricted ownership, Categories 1 and 2 of FGA should not be considered child abuse.

Permanent injury does not result from these procedures and thus parents should be granted latitude in terms of the decisions they make in the best interest of their children. If FGA is viewed culturally as a means to moral or ritual purity, then it could be argued that parents are acting in the best interest of their children by partaking in procedures that uphold these beliefs but do not cause long-term harm.

To summarise, in a liberal society, arguments supporting de minimis FGA fall into at least three areas. The first is based on individual rights of parents. The second is based on respect for minority cultures. The last is based on the concept that government should exercise restraint if fundamental interests of society are not at stake. Even if one were to reject all of the arguments proposed so far, toleration of de minimis procedures is warranted. This is because it is necessary to protect girls. There is reason to believe that some communities that practice Categories 3 and 4 of FGA will accept de minimis procedures in their stead.

In , physicians at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle which served a large Somali population, after much deliberation, decided to offer a ritual nick under analgesia to adolescent girls able to assent to the procedure. This compromise was reached in partnership with the Somali patient population with the knowledge that if the alternative and safe procedure would not be able to be performed in the USA, the women would take their female children back to Somalia for a more extensive, likely Category 4 procedure.

The media and public outcry of utter condemnation led Harborview to end the compromise. AAP retracted its statement and again adopted strong opposition to all female genital cutting, removed its endorsement of the clitoral nick and educated its members not to perform such ritual procedures. Such opposition to Category 1 nicking sacrifices the needs of actual individuals to the imperatives of ideology. We believe that such opposition to Category 1 and Category 2 procedures that are acceptable to some populations that practice FGA are more likely to perpetuate the medically deleterious Category 3 and Category 4 procedures rather than aid in eradicating them.

We acknowledge that our proposed strategy may be mistaken or misconveyed to grant a sense of acceptability to all FGA procedures. However, given the widespread nature currently of Categories 3 and 4 of FGA, if even a few girls undergo a de minimis procedure instead of a more invasive one due to this strategy, than the strategy is appropriate. The concern regarding amount of tissue being removed is also not unique to FGA, but is similar to male circumcision as well as cosmetic surgeries on adults. Furthermore, the advocacy efforts aimed at completely eliminating FGA have had only limited success; therefore, a new strategy is required that accounts for cultural requirements while safeguarding the health of female children.

The goal of eradicating procedures that do not cause significant harm is at worst, morally questionable and at best, an invitation to waste resources that could be applied to ends that are more likely to further human well-being. In order to better protect female children from the long-term harms of Categories 3 and 4 of FGA, we must adopt a more nuanced position that acknowledges that Categories 1 and 2 are different in that they are not associated with long-term medical risks, are culturally sensitive, do not discriminate on the basis of gender and do not violate human rights.

The authors thank Insoo Hyun, PhD for his valuable feedback and critical reading of this manuscript. Contributors Both authors are responsible for the design, drafting and editing of this manuscript. KSA is responsible for the overall manuscript. Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed. Responding to traditional female genital surgeries. Hastings Cent Rep ; Male versus female genital alteration: Gend Med ; 4: Impact of the complete ban on female genital cutting on the attitude of educated women from Upper Egypt toward the practice.

Int J Gynaecol Obstet ; Have we made progress in Somalia after 30 years of interventions? Attitudes towards female circumcision among people in the Hargeisa district. BMC Res Notes ; 6: Lancet ; Fewer younger women are undergoing female genital mutilation, a study finds. BMJ ; Methods for the prevention of female genital cutting in Finland. Finnish J Ethn Migration ; 3: Health care in Europe for women with genital mutilation.

Health Care Women Int ; An analysis of the implementation of laws with regard to female genital mutilation in Europe. Crime Law Soc Change ; Public health, cultural norms and the criminal law: A case study of female genital cutting. Med Law ; J Med Ethics ; Pediatrics ; Circumcision of male infants as a human rights violation. Ritual infant circumcision and human rights. Am J Bioeth ; A rose by any other name? Rethinking the similarities and differences between male and female genital cutting.

Med Anthropol Q ; J Gend Specif Med ; 5: Defibulation to treat female genital cutting: Obstet Gynecol ; Retrospective review of unintentional female genital trauma at a pediatric referral center. Pediatr Emerg Care ; J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med ; The ethics of circumcision of male infants. Isr Med Assoc J ; Or human rights violation? Male and female genital alteration: Health Matrix ; A tradition in transition: The goose and the gander: Global Discourse ; 3: The ethics of evidence.

A review of the current state of the male circumcision literature. J Sex Med ; Between prophylaxis and child abuse: Am J Bioeth ; 3: Male circumcision decreases penile sensitivity as measured in a large cohort. BJU Int ; Urology ; AAP retracts statement on controversial practice.

Using facts to moderate the message. Evolutionary cultural ethics and the circumcision of children. Male and female circumcision. Three years ago I was invited, as an anthropologist and a seminary professor, to give a lecture on morality and postmodernism to the faculty of another seminary. This invitation led me not only to visit another institution to which I had strong connections as an academic and as a Christian hut also to travel down a complex intellectual path.

My initial goal was to compare conservative Christian, modernist, and post-modernist moral discourses. Rather than focus on explicit propositions or grand abstractions, I chose to search the moral discourses of each movement for distinctive metaphors, myths, and symbols. Eventually I collected hundreds of usages of the expression both in contexts marking the postmodernist break with modernism and in contexts marking modernist breaks with Christian morality.

A single symbol occurs at two different boundaries, employed by two different movements on behalf of their moral visions. This examination, in turn, led me to consider some troubling issues of openness and closure in con-temporary academic discourse. In this article, I offer a guided tour through this terrain. Before analyzing this trope in moral discourse, an excursus on the origins of the expression is needed. TO9 , Francoeur , Haeberle Some locate the origin of the expres. Similarly, sources are unelear as to when the expres-sion was eoined.

The Oxford English Dictionary included it in but gave a date of as the first usage it was able to document. The Random House Unabridged in-dicates that the term first showed up ca. Other sources present it straight-forwardly as historical fact hut without documentation. I asked for help in documenting its origin from various Internet diseussion groups. Those who responded seemed sure of their faets but could not remember their sources. Initially tbe earliest references to the expression I could find were in and Graves and Patai pinpoint a specific source.

No such reference oc-curs in Malinowski, but three other authorities Gotwald and Golden In published sources on tbe topie, Malinowski is the only name given. It seemed obvious that each was depending on some as yet unidentified further source which itself cited Malinowski. Further searching turned up sucb a source.

Brief Bibliographical Guide in Medieval Islamic Philosophy and Theology

Kinsey only reports a story; it is not until the late s that writers begin to use tbe expression for this position in intercourse. Some of them clearly cite the story in a form with references to Malinowski that ean only have come from Kinsey Graves and Patai L; Gotwald and Golden Despite extensive efforts, lexieographers and sexologists have turned up no usage of this expression prior to Kinsey. Trobrianders do gather to play and sing mocking songs Malinowski Later we learn that Trobrianders moek face-to-face man-on-top woman-below intercourse p. Another memory in this same context seems key.

Kinsey recalls medieval Catholic teaching that preseribed faee-to-face man-on-top woman-below intercourse. Clearly be was struck by Trobriand mockery of the very position pre-scribed by medieval theologians. The distance between two elements separated by centuries and half a world is overcome through the simple addition of Christian missionaries. From there, apparently, the story was told and retold until the expression evolved into a technical term for face-to-face man-on-top woman-below sexual inter-course.

Virtually tbe whole English-speaking world even-tually learned both the expression and the accompanying explanation. By this time the connection with Kinsey or Malinowski appears to bave been forgotten. German Missionarsstel-lung, Spanish posture del misionero, and French position du missionnaire.

Parallel to its rise as a technical term was an increase in its invocation as a symbol. While not recalling where he first heard the expression and accompanying narrative, Heider personal communication, March reports having felt sure that readers would understand the reference. Most references occur after the mids, and many recent ones are clearly postmodernist. Like urban legends, tbe story of the missionary posi-tion was not generated and sustained by rational concern witb evidence.

No authority documents a single situa-tion in which missionaries taught such an ethic and natives used such an expression.

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In contrast to most urban legends, this legend has managed to certify itself through the accredited reality-defining institutions of society and to instantiate its truth as part of the Eng-lish language. If we wish to understand the meaning and dynamism of this myth, it is to symbolism that we must turn. Social others are central to modernist moral discourses. Three emphases can be identified in these discourses.

The norms of other people were considered irra-tional. Captain Cook discovered that Polynesians refused to engage in many seemingly unexceptionahle hehaviors. When asked about their odd interdictions, they explained that such things were taboo. Europeans were fascinated hy the concept. What distinguished the two was thought to he ration-ality. And yet modernist philosophers insisted that West-ern morality owed too much to Christian morality, which was itself irrational and tahoo-based.

Modernist ethics required rational foundations which could claim universality and owed nothing to particularistic tradition or Christian revelation. Kant grounded ethics in a tran-scendental rationality detached from cultural particu-larities. Others, like Frazer, focused attention on the cul-tural particularities of other times and places, defining all others with reference to the modern and the suhor-dinating them to it. In The Golden Bough , writing of reason hattling through centuries of superstition, Fra-zer devoted hundreds of pages to the taboos of others, and in Folk-Lore in the Old Testament he made clear that the Bible itself was grounded in taboo.

Mod-ernist ethics were articulated through a discourse of con-trast with the morality of the not-modern other and dis-tingiuished from Christian morality through a discourse which equated the latter with the morality of the not-modern other. By implication, Christian interdictions were not inherent in universal morality hut an unnecessary and unhealthy imposition. Whereas Christians insisted that God was founda-tional to morality, modernist discourses stressed that so-cial others who did not worship God were nonetheless moral. The Chinese, for example, were moral: Their leaders were scholars, instructors in morality, and athe-ists.

Clearly God was unnecessary to morality. Rather than needing missionaries, he argued, such people should send missionaries to America p. Almost any social others will do, hut the most common location for the narrative is on some South Pacific island. In assessing this symholism, what is important is not the objective properties of social others in a geographical space but their properties as they appear in the dis-courses of modernity.

While narrative may locate the missionary po-sition in the South Pacific, it is a South Pacific of the Western imagination. It is douhtless hecause light-skinned Polynesians, for racial reasons, occupy a more prominent place in the Western sexual imagination than do dark-skinned Melanesians that the narrative com-monly refers to Polynesia or, more hroadly, to the South Pacific instead of to Trohriand Melanesia.

American film based on this short story were suhse-quently produced. Philosophy, Theology and Mysticism in Medieval Islam. I by Richard M. Ashgate, , x pp. Probing in Islamic Philosophy: Ashgate, , xx pp.

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Giulio Einaudi, , vol. Von Athen nach Bagdad. Studien zur Alten Kirchengeschichte, Thielmann Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta Peeters, , xxxii pp. Began in June Journal of Islamic Philosophy published bi-annually by the Department of Philosophy of the University of Michigan, www. Dunlop Aristoteles Semitico-latinus, Brill, , xvi pp. Browne , Gerald M. Da Occidente verso Oriente come incontro di lingue e culture. Atti della giornata di studio su Traduzioni orientali e testi classici: Brescia, 8 ottobre , ed. CNRS Editions, , pp. Frank , Richard M. Walter de Gruyter, , pp.

Lyons , Malcolm C. Marmura , Michael E. De Aeternitate Mundi , ed. University of California Press, , pp. Pormann , Peter E. Watt , John W. Latin, Hebrew, and Syriac Translations and Influences. Peter Joosse Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus, Brill, , viii pp. Ivry , Alfred L. Cambridge University Press, , pp. Stone , Gregory B. Palgrave Macmillan, , pp. Philosophe et Savant , ed. Weber , Michael C. Japanese Reader in Arabic Philosophy Corpus fontium mentis medii aevi, Tokyo, , pp.

Bright Pen, , pp. Black , Deborah L. Butterworth , Charles E. Carter , Michael C. Hughes , Aaron W. Imagination in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Thought. An interesting dialogue is worth a comment. I think that you need to write more on this matter, it might not be a taboo subject however generally people are not sufficient to talk on such topics. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this web site! I like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. There are actually loads of details like that to take into consideration.

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De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition) De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)
De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition) De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)
De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition) De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)
De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition) De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)
De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition) De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)
De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition) De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)
De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition) De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)
De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition) De la condamnation de la vanité (Revivification des sciences de la religion) (French Edition)

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