A Social-Psychological Exploration of the Origins of a World Religion
Author: Torkel Brekke
Why did people in North India from the 5th century BC choose to leave the world and join the sect of the Buddha? This is the first book to apply the insights of social psychology in order to understand the religious motivation of the people who constituted the early Buddhist community. It also addresses the more general and theoretically controversial question of how world religions come into being, by focusing on the conversion process of the individual believer.
“A powerful argument, swept along by Katznelson’s robust prose and the imposing scholarship that lies behind it.”—Kevin Boyle, New York Times Book Review A work that “deeply reconceptualizes the New Deal and raises countless provocative questions” (David Kennedy), Fear Itself changes the ground rules for our understanding of this pivotal era in American history. Ira Katznelson examines the New Deal through the lens of a pervasive, almost existential fear that gripped a world defined by the collapse of capitalism and the rise of competing dictatorships, as well as a fear created by the ruinous racial divisions in American society. Katznelson argues that American democracy was both saved and distorted by a Faustian collaboration that guarded racial segregation as it built a new national state to manage capitalism and assert global power. Fear Itself charts the creation of the modern American state and “how a belief in the common good gave way to a central government dominated by interest-group politics and obsessed with national security” (Louis Menand, The New Yorker).
In 1940, the nation will almost certainly enter the war in Europe, and everyone is worried. One winter's night, in a two-family household deep in Wisconsin farm country, four-year-old Silje Reiersen hears a knock on the door. A stranger wants shelter for the night. The farmers doing chores in the barn allow the man to sleep overnight in the hayloft. The next morning, the man is found brutally murdered. Who is he? Why was he killed? By whom? The sheriff, with none of modern day's forensic tools must solve this crime, and in doing so, changes Silje's life forever.
Modern conceptualization of the multidimensional nature of anxiety, panic, and fear are examined from a variety of perspectives, including theories of emotion and cognition, neuropsychology, and conditioning.øCarroll E. Izard and Eric A. Youngstrom open with a review of Differential Emotions Theory. In the second chapter, Jeffrey A. Gray and Neil McNaughton summarize and update Gray's neuropsychological theory of anxiety. Susan Mineka and Richard Zinbarg consider what modern conditioning theory contributes to the understanding of emotion, and Richard J. McNally offers an overview of the application of experimental cognitive paradigms to fear, panic, and anxiety.øThe volume concludes with a new version of David H. Barlow's theory of emotional disorders. Barlow, Bruce F. Chorpita, and Julia Turovsky draw from work on emotion, neurophysiology, attributions, learning, ethology, attention, and child development to describe how the inappropriate activation of fear (e.g., a panic attack) can trigger events that may eventually become a clinical anxiety disorder.øPerspectives on Anxiety, Panic, and Fear confirms that anxiety, panic, and fear are complex phenomena requiring a multidimensional approach that ranges from neuroanatomy to conditioning.
Surveillance cameras. Airport security lines. Barred store windows. We see manifestations of societal fears everyday, and daily news reports on the latest household danger or raised terror threat level continually stoke our sense of impending doom. In A Philosophy of Fear, Lars Svendsen now explores the underlying ideas and issues behind this powerful emotion, as he investigates how and why fear has insinuated itself into every aspect of modern life. Svendsen delves into science, politics, sociology, and literature to explore the nature of fear. He examines the biology behind the emotion, from the neuroscience underlying our “fight or flight” instinct to how fear induces us to take irrational actions in our attempts to minimize risk. The book then turns to the political and social realms, investigating the role of fear in the philosophies of Machiavelli and Hobbes, the rise of the modern “risk society,” and how fear has eroded social trust. Entertainment such as the television show “Fear Factor,” competition in extreme sports, and the political use of fear in the ongoing “War on Terror” all come under Svendsen’s probing gaze, as he investigates whether we can ever disentangle ourselves from the continual state of alarm that defines our age. Svendsen ultimately argues for the possibility of a brighter, less fearful future that is marked by a triumph of humanist optimism. An incisive and thought-provoking meditation, A Philosophy of Fear pulls back the curtain that shrouds dangers imagined and real, forcing us to confront our fears and why we hold to them.
Originally published in 1985, this title was a retrospective appreciation of the late Richard L. Solomon. His pre- and postdoctoral students from past years presented the 22 papers which are published in this volume. The book reflects the breadth of Solomon’s impact through his teaching and research. The first part contains a chapter that provides a bit of history in a retrospective appreciation of the several foci of Solomon’s research career. This chapter sets the stage for those that follow and reduces their diversity by providing a degree of historical understanding. The second part on the role of properties of fear contains chapters that address various issues associated with the role of conditioned fear. The third part contains papers that address cognitive, information-processing issues in the context of Pavlovian conditioning of appetitive and aversive events, reasoning and timing. The fourth part continues the exploration of the phenomenon of learned helplessness first discovered in Solomon’s laboratory. The fifth part addresses various issues associated with the Solomon and Corbit opponent-process theory of motivation and affect. The final part, on applications to human and cultural issues, contains chapters on such diverse subjects as cross-cultural analyses of aggressive behavior in children, the analysis of resistance to change in industrial organizations, the concept of liberty in formulating research issues in developmental psychology, and the status of free will in modern American psychology.
Fear in its many facets appears to constitute an intriguing and compelling subject matter for writers and screenwriters alike. The contributions address fictional representations and explorations of fear in different genres and different periods of literary and cultural history. The topics include representations of political violence and political fear in English Renaissance culture and literature; dramatic representations of fear and anxiety in English Romanticism; the dramatic monologue as an expression of fears in Victorian society; cultural constructions of fear and empathy in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876) and Jonathan Nasaw’s Fear Itself (2003); facets of children’s fears in twentieth- and twenty-first-century stream-of-consciousness fiction; the representation of fear in war movies; the cultural function of horror film remakes; the expulsion of fear in Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go and fear and nostalgia in Mohsin Hamid’s post-9/11 novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist.