• Fat, syn and disordered eating: The dangers and powers of excess

      Bacon, Hannah; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2015-04-08)
      This article draws on qualitative research inside one UK secular commercial weight loss group to show how ancient Christian suspicions of appetite and pleasure resurface in this group’s language of “Syn.” Following ancient Christian representations of sin, members assume that Syn depicts disorder and that fat is a visible sign of a body which has fallen out of place. Syn, though, is ambiguous, utilizing ancient theological meanings to discipline fat while containing within it the power to resist the very borders which hold women’s bodies and fat in place. Syn thus signals both the dangers and powers of disordered eating.
    • The Inalienable Alien: Giorgio Agamben and the Political Ontology of Hong Kong

      Leung, King-Ho (Taylor and Francis, 2017-04-03)
      Drawing on the work of Giorgio Agamben, this article offers a philosophical interpretation of Hong Kong’s recent Umbrella Movement and the city’s political identity since its 1997 handover to China. With the constitutional principle of ‘one country, two systems’ it has held since 1997, Hong Kong has existed as an ‘inalienable alien’ part of China not dissimilar to that of Agamben’s political ontology of the homo sacer’s ‘inclusive exclusion’ in the polis. In addition to highlighting how Agamben’s politico-ontological notions such as ‘exception’ and ‘inclusive exclusion’ can illuminate the events of the Umbrella Movement, this article focuses particularly on the figure of the student, which many have seen as the symbolic face of the protest campaign. Considering how the student may also be regarded as a figure of ‘exception’, this article argues that the ‘exceptional’ role of the student highlights the unique sociopolitical as well as pedagogical aspects of the Umbrella Movement. Finally, comparing Hong Kong’s 2014 protests to Agamben’s philosophical account of the 1989 Tiananmen protests, this article concludes by suggesting that the Umbrella Movement is not simply a one-off event but fundamentally a manifestation of Hong Kong’s continuing political existence since 1997.
    • Philosophy as an art of living/writing

      Leung, King-Ho (Taylor and Francis, 2015-06-23)
      Review essay of 'Philosophy, literature, and the dissolution of the subject: Nietzsche, Musil, Atay' by Zeynep Talay-Turner.
    • Pluralising practical theology: international and multi-traditional challenges and opportunities

      Stuerzenhofecker, Katja; University of Chester; University of Manchester
      The entrance of international practical theologians of all faiths and none into the traditionally Western-centric, Christian-dominated field in the UK prompts the review of its scope and methodology. This paper argues for a shared conversation on how to achieve constructive and authentic participation for all. A recent survey of alumni from four UK-based Professional Doctorates in Practical Theology highlights omissions and opportunities, and points towards an agenda for intentional and effective pluralization. Evangelical principles and Christian liberation theology suggest internal strategies to counter possible resistance to undoing the Christian hegemony.
    • Rapture or risk: Signs of the end or symptoms of world risk society?

      Knowles, Steve; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2014-12-11)
      In this article I argue that elements of contemporary fundamentalist Christian apocalyptic discourse are not only influenced by, but are a product of the rhetoric and fascination with the notion of risk. The world risk society thesis developed by the German sociologist Ulrich Beck will be utilised as a conceptual framework to measure one example of an online discourse centred on a Christian dispensationalist understanding of the rapture: Rapture Index. This popular website utilises a statistical probability index system based on 45 different categories that relate to global socio-political events; the higher the aggregate total the nearer the rapture. The Rapture Index is indebted to the impact of risk in contemporary society and it is a tool that exemplifies non-knowing: a product of the world risk society.