• Excess, Sex & Elevation

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Shuker, Ronald Kurt; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-01)
      Excess, Sex & Elevation is an attempt to understand the desire for truth in the work of Emmanuel Levinas, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Nothing is said about what truth is, but rather why it is wanted and how it is sought. Despite their different religious beliefs (Levinas a Jew, Nietzsche an atheist, Dostoevsky a Christian), the three thinkers hold remarkably similar conceptions of truth. Truth is an individual pursuit -- upwards. The self experiences a crisis of conscience upon discovering its originary excess, which is sex. The self suffers spiritually for what it is physically through the art of ascesis, turning the lust for sex into the desire for truth. And therein begins the self's elevation to the heights of truth.
    • Kingfishers and Criteria: a New Approach to the Engineering Design Method

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Groenewold, Benjamin; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-10)
      The usual method of designing a solution for a problem, which applies general principles to a specific situation, tends to overlook the unique features of each situation and so must inevitably efface the very structure of what it means to create, and so resolve diversity and plurality into blank uniformity. This is grave problem which a renewed attention to the individuality of things might help resolve. This project considers the criticism of several thinkers (including John Duns Scotus, Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, and J.C. Jones) on the schema of general and particular that undergirds the engineering design method. It then seeks to open up further the suggestions these thinkers have for a new approach to the design method not enthralled to an understanding of general categories, but grounded in a contemplation of the individual.
    • Natality From Chaos: Hannah Arendt and Democratic Education

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Van Dyk, Tricia K.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-08)
      This thesis considers contemporary education from a philosophical angle via the work of Hannah Arendt in light of education's key place a the intersection of responsibility for the past, empowerment to effect change in the present, and hope for the future. Chapter 1 sets out an understanding of human community as a chaotic system in the technical sense via Arendt's concept of natality, applying this understanding to the project of education as a way of helping educators facilitate students' ability to contribute something new without controlling students' potentially unique contributions. Chapter 2 questions in more detail the applicability of some of Arendt's philosophical and political ideas to multicultural education, addressing also the need for setting goals for action without assuming a deterministic, mathematically linear process. Chapter 3 examines Arendt's firm distinction between education and politics in the context of globalization and the possibility of continual renewal and transformation of our world.
    • The Nature of Critical Theory and Its Fate: Adorno vs. Habermas, Ltd.

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Klaassen, Matthew J.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-10)
      Jurgen Habermas argues for a paradigm change in critical theory from Theodor W. Adorno's philosophy of consciousness to his own linguistically-turned theory. Habermas claims that Adorno's conception of reason sets up an antagonistic relationship between subject and object that can only be overcome by a non-rational mimesis with nature. This thesis defends Adorno against Habermas, and argues that the linguistic turn is a mistake. Chapter 1 outlines Habermas's critique, and corrects some of his specific misunderstandings of Adorno. Chapter 2 offers a positive defense of Adorno. By means of an expanded notion of nature, Adorno shows how the relation between subject and object need not be the antagonistic one characteristic of so much of modern philosophy. Chapter 3 argues that it is not Adorno's dialectical thought, but Habermas's linguistically-turned critical theory that suffers from an inability properly to articulate the relation between subject and object.
    • Rosa Luxemburg: First Socialist Feminist

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Jung, Kristina E.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-10)
      Traditionally, Rosa Luxemburg has not been understood as a feminist. In the beginnings of her socio-political career she did not align herself with feminism. However, as time progressed, Luxemburg became increasingly weary of male-chauvinistic ideals including Revisionism, opportunism, centralization, militarism, and war. Luxemburg's socio-political theories and her relationships with the women's movement led her to label herself as feminist. This thesis outlines and examines the claim that Luxemburg can be described and labeled a feminist.