The Papacy in the Fourteenth Century and the installation in Avignon

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The opening words of the Bull Redemptor Noster, issued by the Pope John on April 1st 1318, presenting the missionary success on the far side of the world, did not deal with the idea of the papacy as an outdated universal monarchy concept. At the very least, John XXII made use of the opportunity to reaffirm the fullness of the “Vicar of the Christ” power, at the head of a militant church called to take up the entire world, onto its furthest parts. Continue reading

Education and capabilities – Education as a right

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Education and capabilities – Education as a right – The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical argument for incorporating the issue of social justice, as articulated in Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach, in evaluating the capitalist models of higher education. Building on existing work on the capabilities approach within education, it is emphasised that the notion of capabilities provides a useful theoretical and conceptual framework for a more meaningful understanding of issues relating to education.If variety and diversity underpin capitalist models, one of the main characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon capitalist models is the importance of competition. Higher education in capitalist models is also driven by competition and, if one uses the viewpoint of global university ranking, the competitive education model is considered the most successful. Continue reading

The secular-religious dichotomy in development assistance

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Sociologists have long predicted that the influence and role of religion(s) would wane in ‘modern’ societies. In Auguste Comte’s positivist vision, religion is somewhat constructed as an obstacle to progress. Max Weber famously posited that the rationalisation process associated with modernisation would lead to the ‘disenchantment of the world’, whereby the search for truths and meanings come to rest on scientific investigation rather than religious beliefs, myths and magic. Continue reading

Bye Mr Jim Harrison

“In the beginning of this world there was no such thing as death. Every one continued to live until there were so many people that there was not room for any more on the earth. The chiefs held a council to determine what to do. One man arose and said that he thought it would be a good plan to have the people die and be gone for a little while, and then to return.” Tradition of the Caddo