Articles on Modernity

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Chilean-German DJ Matias Aguayo performing at Kitchener’s Bar in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Charles Leonard

Jo'burg by night: A time for dreamers, graffiti artists, lovers and dancers

Scholars of urban studies are acknowledging that the discipline is characterised by a fear of the dark and the night. But artists are giving us a creative language to engage with the darkness.
Bombardier (right), the reigning champion and ‘King of the Arenas’, prepares to defend his crown against the popular young challenger Modou Lô. Mark Hann/ Global Sport

Senegalese wrestle with ethnicity while reaching for dreams of success

Wrestling is Senegal’s national sport. But the presence of an ethnic discourse within the sporting arena may well threaten the notion of the multi-ethnic nation state.
Palestinian men pray in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-amid. Ammar Awad/Reuters

Is Islam incompatible with modernity?

Religion and modernity need not be at odds with one another, and many leading Muslim thinkers are plumbing early texts to promote progressive ideas.
To Tolkien, the machine represents a means to attain power over others. His orcs – deformed and ugly creatures, whose hands are sometimes replaced with weapons – embody this lust for power. LOTR Wikia

Tolkien and the machine

My grandfather was a carpenter, and I don’t think he ever developed much of a sense of trust in machines. I remember him laboring away at our home one summer, transforming our screened-in porch into a…
Confucius stands guard at Beijing’s Renmin University. George (Sam) Crane

Confucius doesn’t live here anymore

In today’s China, the philosopher Confucius is back. To mark his 2,565th birthday this September, the nation’s President, Xi Jinping, paid homage to the sage at an international conference convened for…

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