Book Review: A Bell and the Power of Karma

Written by Rocco Astore. Folklore, or a set of customary stories belonging to a specific culture, has contributed to the way that people understand and interpret the world. Within this piece, I will first give a brief summary of the Japanese myth A Bell and the Power of Karma. I will then give a short overview of the Buddhist concept of karma, in order to … Continue reading Book Review: A Bell and the Power of Karma

The Great War Column: The University of Edinburgh, Rudyard Kipling, and the Great War

Written by Ashleigh Jackson. The University of Edinburgh, like many other institutions across the country, did not escape the Great War unscathed. A Roll of Honour was published in 1921, after the cessation of hostilities, to commemorate the fallen alumni of the university. This record provides a wealth of information for those hoping to research the war and its impact on society. The introduction of … Continue reading The Great War Column: The University of Edinburgh, Rudyard Kipling, and the Great War

Wicked Women: The Stepmother as a Figure of Evil in the Grimms' Fairy Tales

Wicked Women: The Stepmother as a Figure of Evil in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Written by Anahit Behrooz. The recent scholarly resurgence of fairy tales and folklore, and the litany of rewrites, spin offs and adaptations, prompts a reexamination of many of the genre’s characteristics and tropes. The character of the wicked stepmother has gained notoriety as one of the most evil villains to be found in fairy tales, frequently set up as a foil to the innocent and virtuous … Continue reading Wicked Women: The Stepmother as a Figure of Evil in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Pharaoh Akhenaten’s Ordained Benevolence

Written by Jenisha Sabaratnam. As Pharaoh of Lower and Upper Egypt, King Akhenaten undoubtedly had immense power over his land and subjects throughout his seventeen year rule of the 18th dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Though it was common for Pharaohs to justify their rule through religion, Akhenaten took it one step further. He changed the primary god of worship from Amun to Aten, and used … Continue reading Pharaoh Akhenaten’s Ordained Benevolence

Review: Scotland and Europe – The Past Shaping the Future

Written by Felix Carpenter. A review of Professor Sir Tom Devine’s lecture ‘Scotland and Europe: The past shaping the future’, September 2016. Sir Tom Devine enters the stage, introduced as the foremost historian of modern Scottish history. Professor Devine is that unusual thing: an establishment figure who in 2014 supported Scottish independence, at the cost of – he would later remind his audience – the … Continue reading Review: Scotland and Europe – The Past Shaping the Future

The Legend of Classical Greek Theatre

Writtten by Phoebe McKechnie. When reading Euripides’ The Bacchae and Medea, a comparison with Arthur Miller’s The Crucible does not instantly come to mind. Their settings are very different: The Bacchae and Medea are set in ancient Greece, and the Massachusetts town Salem is well known as the setting of Miller’s Puritanical play. However, within these geographical settings, all three plays revolve around male-dominated environments where the roles of women are seen to be traditional and … Continue reading The Legend of Classical Greek Theatre

Between Psychotherapy and Spirituality: Buddhist Interaction with Freudian Psychoanalysis

Written by Christopher Harding. In the West, Sigmund Freud is thought of as one of the greatest critics of religion that has ever lived. In our own times, we are quite familiar with attempts to integrate psychoanalysis and psychotherapy more broadly with religious traditions including Christianity and Buddhism. The rise of a ‘mindfulness’ culture, which encompasses a publications boom, classes, retreats, and media usage of … Continue reading Between Psychotherapy and Spirituality: Buddhist Interaction with Freudian Psychoanalysis

Presidential Campaign 2016: Thoughts from Across the Pond…

Some thoughts on the current Presidential Campaign from Professor George H. Gilliam, UVA. The great philosopher Woody Allen once remarked that 80 per cent of life is just showing up. Most Americans have stopped showing up at political events. This year, only about 9 per cent (fewer than one in ten!) of the population actually voted in the Republican and Democratic caucuses or primaries. We … Continue reading Presidential Campaign 2016: Thoughts from Across the Pond…

Review: American Historian Professor Frank Cogliano’s September lectures

A Review of Professor Frank Cogliano’s lectures, ‘The 2016 American Presidential Election: Precedents and Reflections’ and ‘You think the 2016 US Election is bad? You should try 1800!’, September 2016. With the U.S. presidential election looming ever closer, there has been no shortage of exhibits, film screenings and lectures to entertain American history enthusiasts in Edinburgh this September. Over the last month, I had the … Continue reading Review: American Historian Professor Frank Cogliano’s September lectures

Fiction: Liberté, Egalité, Tranquillité

Paris, 8th Thermidor, Year II ‘Behold! The head of a counter-revolutionary who would have us bend our knees to a monarchical tyrant!’ To his eyes, Martin Colbert resembled a peacock garbed in his blue and red tailcoat and hat. The matching ribbons placed sporadically on his person added to this effect. Colbert never seemed to walk like an average Parisian but bounce with every step like … Continue reading Fiction: Liberté, Egalité, Tranquillité

Africa’s Haven of Peace? Elections, Politics and Violence in Post-colonial East Africa

As I write, it is the 28 October 2015, and three days have passed since Tanzania went to the polls for the fifth time since the return of multi-party elections in 1995. Elections in Africa are always moments of high tension, and this election is no different. Today, the BBC News Africa page leads with ‘Tanzania poll crisis.’ Immediately below this headline is more information: … Continue reading Africa’s Haven of Peace? Elections, Politics and Violence in Post-colonial East Africa