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    South Borneo as an ancient Sprachbund area
    Adelaar, A (UNIV INDONESIA, FAC HUMANITIES, 2021-01-01)
    In South and Central Kalimantan (southern Borneo) there are some unusual linguistic features shared among languages which are adjacent but do not belong to the same genetic linguistic subgroups. These languages are predominantly Banjar Malay (a Malayic language), Ngaju (a West Barito language), and Ma’anyan (a Southeast Barito language). The same features also appear to some degree in Malagasy, a Southeast Barito language in East Africa. The shared linguistic features are the following ones: a grammaticalized form of the originally Malay noun buah ‘fruit’ expressing affectedness, nasal spreading in which N- not only nasalizes the onset of the first syllable but also a *y in the next syllable, a non-volitional marker derived from the Banjar Malay prefix combination ta-pa- (related to Indonesian tr- + pr-), and the change from Proto Malayo-Polynesian *s to h (or Malagasy Ø). These features have their origins in the various members of the language configuration outlined above and form a Sprachbund or “Linguistic Area”. The concept of Linguistic Area is weak and difficult to define. Lyle Campbell (2002) considers it little else than borrowing or diffusion and writes it off as “no more than [a] post hoc attempt [...] to impose geographical order on varied conglomerations of [...] borrowings”. While mindful of its shortcomings, the current author still uses the concept as a useful tool to distinguish between
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    Civil Society and Youth Leadership for Transformation
    Reuter, T ; Marien, M ; Harries, D (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2020)
    This discussion paper looks at the current historical momentum and potential future development of civil society and youth leadership for a systemic transformation to a sustainable new civilization. It identifies emerging challenges, obstacles, and some of the innovative new leadership strategies that have been developed to overcome them. Civil society is central in the process of transformation in a dual sense: As the target of transformation — it is civil society at large together with governments and the private sector that must shift to sustainable practices in our daily lives, — and as an instigator of change—individuals, informal networks or organized groups of citizens specifically dedicated to promoting this transformation. This boundary between recipients and agents in society is fluid, as more and more people take action or join organized efforts to elicit a purposeful transformation.
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    Current Tasks of Academies and Academia
    Reuter, T ; Engelbrecht, J ; Djurovic, M (Risk Institute Trieste, 2020)
    The present article is written as an issue paper on academies for the GL-21 Project. It traces activities of academies and their associations in the present information-rich society. The state-of-the-art of the academic world is briefly described. This permits to focus on general trends in knowledge management in general and the role of academies. The successful strategies and interdependencies form the framework of activities, where one should also understand the possible obstacles. The impact of these activities together with ideas for more social responsibility and cooperation are examined. The unique position of WAAS in organizing a network for social progress is underlined.
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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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    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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    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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    Foreign Policy is More Than Just Defence
    Conley Tyler, M (Evatt Foundation, 2021-12-27)
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    How does an Integrated Approach help Defence?
    Conley Tyler, M (Australian Naval Institute, 2021-12-05)
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