Saint Louis University


 Current Publications

Charity in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions, edited by Julia R. Lieberman and Michal Jan Rozbicki (Languages, Literatures and Cultures, History and the Center for Intercultural Studies) has been published in Summer 2017. The volume views concepts of charity in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions as prisms that bring together a rich variety of threads reflecting the particular cultural matrix from which they emerge: attitudes to the poor and vulnerable members of society, sanctioned perceptions of social order, the role of wealth, rules of exclusion and inclusion, meaning of public and private virtue, norms of justice and responsibility, and definitions of benevolence and generosity. The group of international scholars who contributed to this book takes up such questions by looking for common paradigms in the ways the three faiths address the needs of the poor in their respective societies, the interrelatedness of such practices among the three religions, and their theological justifications that provide points of reference to the sacred, giving the theoretical as well as practical aspects of charitable actions a spiritual dimension.






"The diverse and interesting essays in this volume examine the meaning, role, and history of charity in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, letting each speak on its own terms, and giving reason to think that our differences need not be a barrier to our humanity."

-R. J. SNELL, Witherspoon Institute

"This collection presents wide-ranging and nuanced perspectives on the centrality of charity in the three Abrahamic religions, with a strong emphasis on the ways in which these traditions have influenced and shaped one another throughout history. These well-written and provocative essays offer equal parts theoretical framing and particularistic illustration. Each of the pieces included in the volume engages important questions that challenge simplistic formulations of faith and practice in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam."

-MICHAEL HOBERMAN, Fitchburg State University

"This is a deeply moving and timely book. In a world in which social justice too often devolves into posturing or verbal expressions of outrage, these authors analyze how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam use charity to attend to inequality and injustice and repair the world. Attention is paid to both the success and the limits of charitable giving over the ages. This study should have wide appeal and utility not only because of its multi- and interdenominational approach but also because of its unique combination of theoretical, historical, and theological perspectives."


"This interdisciplinary collection contains sophisticated perspectives on the underappreciated topic of charity. Theoretically fresh and historically sweeping, these essays offer rewarding case studies, cross-cultural and denominational comparisons, and insights into the workings, achievements, and limits of charitability."

-JONATHAN SCHORSCH, University of Potsdam




Past Publications

Perspectives on Interculturality: The Construction of Meaning in Relationships of Difference, edited by Michal Jan Rozbicki (History and the Center for Intercultural Studies) has been published in April 2015. The intercultural occurs in the space between two or more distinct cultures that encounter each other, an area where meaning is translated and difference is negotiated. A systemic understanding of this highly complex process calls for interdisciplinary approaches, but scholars are often constrained by conventionalized conceptual languages of their disciplines, and by the incommensurability of frameworks of knowledge. This volume brings together international scholars from diverse disciplines to reflect on the phenomenon of interculturality and to share methods of interpreting it.






"This excellent volume covers the latest scholarship on the study and practice of interculturality from a number of related fields. It offers in-depth treatments of the complex and evolving notions of culture and interculturality. It stands out among other books in that it applies these concepts in a number of academic and professional settings, including translation studies, language teaching, and intercultural communication in healthcare, across geographic boundaries. This book is highly recommended to students and scholars of intercultural communication across disciplines, including applied linguistics, TESOL, and intercultural rhetoric, for its up-to-date scholarship and its thoughtful treatment of potential applications."

-Ulla M. Connor, Chancellor's Professor of English, Barbara E. and Karl R. Zimmer Chair in Intercultural Communication, and Director, International Center for Intercultural Communication
IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University--Purdue University Indianapolis

"There have always been individual and collective intercultural encounters, but they seem to be intensifying and more conspicuous today due to such things as globalization, feminism, and increasingly ethnicity-based politics. Thus the emergence of Intercultural Studies is understandable. With some emphasis on East Asians and Latino/as along with North Americans, this volume fascinatingly works to advance this young discipline by shedding distinctive light on interculturality in healthcare, tourism, immigration, citizenship, history, religion, humor and much else along the way."

-Lester E. Embree, Professor, Department of Philosophy, past holder of William F. Dietrich Eminent Scholar in Philosophy chair
Florida Atlantic University

"A meaningful encounter between cultures takes place only in an intercultural space, which resides in the self-reflexive dimension of all cultural encounters. The major contribution of this volume lies in its rendering accessible this intercultural space to all who aspire to learn from their experiences of the culturally different other."

-Dr. Louise Sundararajan, forensic psychologist, past president of Society for Humanistic Psychology, and current chair of its Task Force on Indigenous Psychology, author of over fifty publications.



Cross-Cultural History and the Domestication of Otherness (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), edited by SLU faculty members Michal Jan Rozbicki and George O. Ndege (History and the Center for Intercultural Studies) was publishedin January 2012. Through case studies spanning Europe, America, Africa, and Asia, the volume illuminates our understanding of what happens when different cultures meet. Twelve cultural historians explore the mechanism and inner dynamic of such encounters, and demonstrate that while they often occur on the wave of global forces and influences, they only acquire meaning locally, where culture inherently resides. The authors shine a light into the nature of this process by showing that traditional, macro-scale frameworks of interpretation are too abstract and general to capture change caused by cross-cultural contacts, and that such change can come about only at the grassroots level because that is where the domestication of otherness takes place.



"If cross-cultural history is difficult to write, it has become imperative in the modern world. As many of the chapters in this fine book suggest, it is even more imperative for the history of Christianity where cross-cultural communication has existed from the earliest centuries ‘A.D.' and where that communication has multiplied exponentially in the last century and a half. This solid group of well-researched essays uses sophisticated categories like ‘agency,' ‘identity,' ‘conversion,' and ‘the other' well. Its case studies of intercultural communication among Western nations and between Western and Eastern regions offer unusual riches for historians, missiologists, theologians, anthropologists, and perhaps even diplomats."
                          -Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History
                           University of Notre Dame

"This study probes a question central to contemporary historiography: What occurs when differing cultures meet? These case studies-drawing on early modern European, American, Asian, and African history-offer illuminating answers, especially about the hot topic of cross-cultural religious encounter."
                          -Gerald McKevitt, SJ, Ellacuria Professor of History
                           Santa Clara University

"Cross-Cultural History and the Domestication of Otherness charts new scholarly territory. With chapters on Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America slicing across the centuries from the sixteenth to the twentieth, the book provides an alternative paradigm than domination/subjugation and object/subject categories to explain what happens at the interstices when two cultures meet and multi-level alterations take place to deal with the interaction (domestication of the other). Even the most seasoned scholars will find the theoretical introductory and concluding chapters constructive and inspiring to rethink their focus of study with new insights."
                          -Angelyn Dries, professor of Theological Studies
                           Danforth Chair in the Humanities, Saint Louis University

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