Last week Dr. Helene Cristini was at the Ninth International Conferenc

e on New Directions of the Humanities in the Universidad de Granada, Campus la Cartuja, in Granada from the 8th to the 11th of June.

There, not only did she present her accepted article “The Spiritual Approach of the Body through the Sari in India” at the International Journal of the Humanities but she also enthusiastically attended numerous interesting presentations on a myriad of different topics: The latter extended themselves from “Kierkegaard, Metaphysics, and Political Theory”, “Cybercitizenship, culture and Public Goods”, “Paradigms of Social system and handicaps”, “The technological and liberal prowess of the Cirque du Soleil through its innovative and multidimensional artistic success: how can they be combined?”, “Hanna Arendt and Political Responsibility”, “ Social programs of music and choirs in South Africa for the Post –Apartheid South African ethos’ construction “ among others.

Professor Cristini’s article focuses on fashion and attempts to contrast the field of fashion from a western and oriental perspective concentrating on the traditional sari in India. The first part of the paper starts by considering fashion in the West and analyze the place of women and their bodies in their society. Its second part explores clothing as a thematic concept in India, using the sari as main illustration. It, on one hand, considers similarly the place of women and on the other hand, it explores the articulation of their bodies in the East. The third part of the paper examines how the sari tradition follows different approaches from the western world: that is a nonviolent approach, a spiritual one; how women in India understand the symbolic dimension of their garments by adhering to very specific codes, obeying the ones of the chakras; and finally, how Indian women contrary to western women dress ‘modestly’ due to the spiritual Indian paradigm.

She also took advantage of the privileged opportunity to be in Andalusia land of the “Al Andalous” gold age era of Islam to further her own research by visiting again El Alhambra, El Alcazar and La Mezquita (Masterpieces of the Al Andalous period). As she reckoned it is always empowering to share intellectual and critical research. Grand!

Dr. Hélène Cristini has also got another article accepted at the International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society entitled “Hegemonies can be empowered when Spiritual values rally Cultural Values: A Comparative Approach from Al Afghani and Simone Weil”.
Synopsis: From Al Afghani’s and Simone Weil’s perspective a successful nation is one where its people have a rich and cultural life with the promotion of peace and harmony. When a nation’s success is enduring and it is shown to be productive over a period of time can it be judged to be of value. The historical process tests each system and preserves only that which expands and enriches human life. The nations that survive in the long run strive to assure a life of happiness, peace and prosperity for all. Those values are immanent in the absolute. In this article, the latter is explained by drawing on select examples in history by applying the philosophical arguments of Jamal al Din Afghani and Simone Weil to four fallen nations and contemporary international politics.