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    Metaphorical Mappings of the ‘Eye’ in Chinese
    Luo, Y ; Qin, X ; Baş, M ; Kraska-Szlenk, I (Brill, 2022)
    Previous studies of body-part terms reveal that the eye as our organ of vision is a rich source domain for conceptualizing various aspects of the human mind. This chapter examines the semantic extensions of the body-part terms for ‘eyes’ and their metaphorical mappings in Chinese within the cognitive semantic framework. Linguistic evidence shows that ‘eyes’ are extensively employed in Chinese to conceptualize various human experiences which can be categorized roughly into four domains, i.e. knowledge/intellect, emotion and attitude, physical and social relationship, as well as shape and time. These metaphorical mappings are grounded on our bodily experience manifested through our interactive embodiment with the eyes. This study illustrates that while a large part of metaphorical mappings proceeds from the more concrete concepts to the more abstract concepts, there are cases where mappings overlap between concrete and abstract concepts. These findings seem to provide support for a more recent view of metaphorical mappings of the mental-as-the physical proposed by Sweetser.
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    Societal dynamics in China's recent past: a scoping review of the research literature
    Gao, J (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-06-17)
    In the past four or so decades, a significant amount of research efforts has been made to analyse the constant and rapid social change taking place in China and the driving dynamics behind the process, resulting in a rich literature on a wide range of issues and aspects related to China’s recent transformations. However, most of such literature is closely related to the research attentions to either political or policy changes and processes or spontaneous and impermanent societal reactions, if not protests and resistances, to changing socio-economic and -political conditions. What has not been sufficiently analysed is how the majority of the population has reacted to the many changes in society over a longer period of time, the inadequacy of which has restricted our understanding of Chinese society, its dynamics and its changing trend to the standpoints of elitists and their opponents. This analytical article seeks to review the existing literature on China’s recent social change and its dynamics, with a focus on the main analytical problems in the literature. To deal with the latter problems, this review is to suggest looking at social changes and dynamics from a stance of competitive social repositionings among the population.
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    Inclusivism and Exclusivism among Muslims Today between Theological and Social Dimensions
    Saeed, A (RSIS: Singapore, 2021)
    Inclusivist views about people of other religions or no religion (non-Muslims) are crucial for harmonious interreligious relations in societies that are becoming increasingly diverse. However, in the case of Islam, achieving this is fraught with challenges. Within the Islamic tradition, there are long-held theologically exclusivist views about other religions, such as salvation is only available through Islam and religions other than Islam are invalid. These positions can be referred to as theologically exclusivist and are often difficult to challenge due to their pervasiveness and because they are generally considered key Muslim beliefs. The paper highlights some attempts made by a number of contemporary Muslim thinkers to adopt theologically inclusivist views that challenge such theologically exclusivist positions. However, their views are still seen as too radical for mainstream Muslims and are thus often marginalised. This paper argues that the challenges that theological inclusivists face should not prevent us from adopting inclusivist views about people of other religions or no religion. The emphasis then is on addressing negative ideas about people of other religions that have developed in the Islamic tradition, such as the inequality of non-Muslims to Muslims, and developing positive ideas, such as the equality of all people. Here the focus is on social inclusivism which appears to be a more feasible project. Such a shift from theological inclusivism to social inclusivism is likely to lead to better relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.
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    Has recentralisation improved equality? Primary care infrastructure development in China
    Tan, X ; Yu, L (Wiley Open Access, 2022-05-09)
    Since the early 2000s, the Chinese Government has undertaken a series of recentralisation efforts. In social policy areas, such efforts are targeted at greater equalisation and inclusiveness. These developments raise a critical question: has recentralisation improved equality? This study explores this question through the lens of primary care infrastructure development, an essential aspect of healthcare reforms that has received limited attention in the academic literature. Based on an analysis of health yearbooks (2004–2016), other government documents and fieldwork interviews, we find that, despite recentralisation efforts, the financing for primary care infrastructure development has remained highly decentralised. Provincial governments act as important intermediaries, reflected by their discretionary power in managing central targets and fundraising behaviour to leverage available resources for outcomes that align with local priorities. Despite an overall capacity increase in primary care infrastructure, significant inequality has remained, which contradicts the central governmentʼs intent to improve equality through recentralisation.
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    Ayatollah Yusuf Sanei's Contribution to the Discourse of Women's Rights
    Akbar, A (MDPI, 2021-07-01)
    Ayatollah Yusef Sanei was a prominent contemporary Shia scholar whose particular methodological approach led him to issue some of the most progressive Shia fatwas on the subject of women’s rights. However, the ideas he expressed in the last decades of his life have scarcely been addressed in the English language scholarship. This article explores Sanei’s broader jurisprudential approach and how he applied it to analyzing and often challenging traditional Shia rulings related to gender issues. The article first differentiates Sanei’s approach towards jurisprudence from established methodologies, particularly in relation to his consideration of the Sunna as secondary to the Qurʾān, his rejection of the practice of using consensus as an independent basis of legal rulings, his idea that Sharia rulings may change over time, and his strong emphasis on the Qurʾān’s messages of justice and human dignity. The article illuminates how this combination led Sanei to challenge traditional ideas about men’s authority over women, a fixed socio-political role for women, and men’s superiority in the areas of divorce rights, testimony and worth in blood money (dīya), while concurring with earlier scholars on the unequal division of inheritance. Notwithstanding this latter exception, the article demonstrates that Sanei drew upon jurisprudential approaches in arguing in favor of equality between men and women in many areas.
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    Fādil Al-Samarra’ī’s Contribution to Literary and Rhetorical Exegesis of the Qur’an
    Abdullah, AS (MDPI AG, 2022-02-01)
    This article explores and assesses Fādil al-Samarrā’ī’s contribution to literary and rhetorical Qur’anic exegesis, especially regarding the rhetorical inimitability of the Qur’an. The article looks at how al-Samarrā’ī approaches the Qur’anic text to reveal its miraculous expressional secrets and its rhetorical inimitability with mere Arabic linguistic tools while giving contexts high priority in his analyses and interpretations. Al-Samarrā’ī was able to reach the semantics and purposes of the Qur’an based on the Qur’anic language itself, relying on its sentence structure and order, as well as on the structures, significance, and special meanings of words (which distinguish them from their synonyms), and how all of it relates to the purposes and objectives of the Qur’an. Al-Samarrā’ī sought to use morphology, semantics, and syntax to reach the purposes of the Holy Qur’an and discover its miraculous and inimitable eloquence. To achieve this, al-Samarrā’ī relied on the rich and vast literature on the subject. Guided by the intellectual language and empirical questions of his time, his tremendous effort and contribution to the literature has helped to demystify this complex subject.
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    Freedom of Religion: The Contribution of Contemporary Iranian Reformist Scholars
    Akbar, A (MDPI, 2021-06-01)
    This article examines a specific line of thinking shared by several contemporary reformist Iranian religious scholars who present arguments in favor of freedom of religion. Focusing on the ideas of five prominent reformist Iranian scholars—Abdolkarim Soroush (b.1945), Muhammad Mujtahed Shabestari (b.1936), Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari (b.1950), Mohsen Kadivar (b.1959), and Ahmad Qabel (d.2012)—the article argues that these thinkers’ defense of freedom of religion is based not only on their interpretations of the Qurʾān and historical Islamic sources, but also philosophical arguments in which concepts from the fields of epistemology and hermeneutics are deployed. As the article demonstrates, some of these scholars connect the notion of freedom of religion to political arguments supporting religious tolerance, or the view that, in order to guarantee religious freedom, the state must be neutral towards the religious orientation of its citizens.
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    English language education in China is being challenged as against Chinese culture
    Lin, D (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2021-08-16)
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