Friday, October 24, 2008

Critical terms relus studies ed mark c. taylor 98 u of chi press: usa

Critical terms relus studies ed mark c. taylor 98 u of chi press: usa

“intro” mark taylor
1-the mod contrasts itself to the ancient/tradl, implying “a related set of oppositions” incl “emotion/reason, intuition/thot, superstition/science, undifferentiation/individuation…” etc, w/ the latter term [the mod ones] privileged “when understood diachronically—that is, as it occurs over time—this hierarchical structure leads to an interp of history according to which the mvmnt from primitivism to modernism involves a progression from emotion to reason, undifferentiation…” etc—(2) the evory view of history, and it associates “rel w/ infantile and primitive behavior”
2-and rise of nation state w/ social contract (instead of contract w/ god) as well as free market contributed to decline of rel; as well as plurality of relus denominations and they competed w/ other discourses; science led to disenchantment w/ world
-and up to 60s some social theorists said rtlztn and seculariztn r inseperable; and g became more transcendent (deists)

-but rel really didn’t die, it went inward w/ a transcendent g too, from luther, (3) culminating w/ Kierkegaard when relus collapses into secular, unlike hegel who thot world became more sacral w/ the “naturaliztn and historicztn of relus realities”
4-and this shows what “less-sophisticated interpreters overlook” is that “twentieth century culture is haunted by rel”—even in pop culture (music, tv—treated religiously)
-and there has been a recent revival too for relus belief and practice which, inter alia, “legitimize strategies of resistence designed to secure a measure of indpc and autonomy” and change ideas of nation and state—(5) tho this revival is bound to G, which produces, inter alia, nomadization of labor—creates “vertigo”, “alienation”

6-but there’s little consensus about “what rel is and how it can best b studied”—just as other areas r insecure in their object of study; and even the ? “What is rel” presumes rel is sui generis; some say same rel only occurred in “particular intellectual and cultural circumstances” and is “constituted by local discursive practices”—ppl (7) create their own truths
8-aug defined rel as binding to the “truth” but mod scholars looked for rel’s origins
9-hume traces rel to hope and fear so ppl create g’s w/ whom they give the power of causation, of causing ppls’ feelings
10-insistence on non-relus origins of rel reject its existence and is a “pernicious reductionism”
-says poststructuralist views of rel really still perpetuate “Hegel’s speculative logic as well as saussure’s structural linguistics”

-“prior to the 60s, most graduate study of rel” was in protstnt divinity schools
11-schempp v. Abington school dist 63 and engel v. vitale 62 cleared the way; so did 60s mvmnts’ creating of “multicultural sensibilities”
*12-“the conditions governing the study of rel underwent a rev that began in the 60s.”, (13) sharp distinction drawn btwn relus studes and theology, tho “in many cases ostensibly nontheological approaches to rel tend to become as theological as the positions they r designed to overturn”, w/ “an emthusiasm bordering on the relus” for soc science methods, that they can b a perfect, ideal lens
*13-then critical theory ?d this, found limits of methods, so no “foundational method or comprehensive explanatory theor…a multidisciplinary approach to the study of rel becomes unavoidable”

14-m. muller’s stress on leang and comparing cultures “has been very influential”
*15-“’To make peace btwn premod typologies and pomo difference,’ it is necessary to dvlp comparative analyses that do not presuppose universal principles or reinscribe ahistorical essences.”, tho some criticize that any search for unity is really just a search for a new hegemony
16-and “terms” r permeable and multivocal—“r a function of both its multiple components and its relation to others”, eg “liberation” means diff things in diff contexts; and so a discussion of “liberation” needs many diff explanations thru theology, anthroly, cosmology, etx. And it is related to other terms that have multiple meanings like value, personhood, ritual, etc.
-says ever since kant’s 3 critiques, “the notion of criticism has been inseperable from the self-reflexivity of self-consciousness”, (17) kant thnks the mind is effectively, hardwired and presupposes “forms of intuition (space and time) and 12 cats of understanding”, tho hegel said mind dvlpd historically in a metastructure that can eventually be entirely comprehended—tho this idea is “historically indefensible and analytically problematic”
*17-“Rather than positing a universal grid or seamless organism, critical reflection articulates an imcomplete web of open and flexible terms. This seamy network of constraint, which is riddled w/ gaps that can b neither bridged nor closed, constitutes a constantly shifting cultural a priori that renders critical knowledge possible while circumscribing its unavoidable limits”
18-and recognizes that terms r “not universally translatable”
*-“we insist that every cultural a priori that renders knowledge possible to interp necessary is always incomplete”, “the wrk of analysis is interminable”
-“discern commonalitities w/out erasing diffcs”
*-it’s “an open—even interative—text that challenges the reader to take up and extend the critical study of rel”
Book takes terms (eg body, belief, etc) and looks at diff uses w/in certain historical places and comparing them, their etymologies, the diversity of ideas w/in those particular places—pt out similarities, diffcs, gen patterns (eg B. lincoln’s models of conflict in nation states), relation of epistemology and term (eg schussler fiorenza and kaufman’s article on g), term’s relation to “rel”
Gustavo benavides “modty” 186-204

191-“But even if Weber’s and Gellner’s assessments of the implications of Israelite theology were correct [that g was transcendent which made it possible to manipulate world thru magic] one would have to consider this primordial disenchantment…as but one of many, in some cases contradictory, acts of drama”; like eg divination of roman emporers—magic still happened but g was on earth
JZ Smith “Rel, Rels, Relus” 269-284

269-the fact that explorers to the “New World” (eg Richard Eden and Pedro Cieza de leon in 16th ce) thot natives didn’t have rel shows what was meant by “rel” at that time—and it is an 1) idea imposed by an outside culture, 2) and “rel” was thot to b ubiquitous to humans, so it would b an anomaly if ppl didn’t have it
-“’Rel’ is an anthropological not a theological category” (w/ the exception of 19th ce Amer idea “to get rel”), “It describes human thot and action, most frequently interms of belief and norms of behavior.”

-this history of wrd “rel”, much of it is “irrelevant to contemp usage”, 3 possible roots (bind, re-read, be careful), roman and early xn latin used it mostly to refer to carefully performed cultic rituals—(still used in our word “relusly”); in (270) 5th ce xns used it by expanding cultic sense to whole life for monastics—Cortes used this idea to describe Aztecs, and this was then used in an encyclopedic work on mesoamers in 1604 by Joesphe de Acosta, but is also used as “the belief system that result in ceremonial behavior”—tho ritual was most common equivalent to rel, and belief was dismissed as old myths
271-in 18th ce, ppl were using rel similar to belief/theology/reverence/worship/iety for the “Supreme Being” (influenced by prtstnts, shown in the german preference for glaube (blief, origin “to adore, cf chptr on belief over rel; and in England the increasing use of “faith”, esply b/c of competition over who had the most credible and true on btwn prtstsnts
-“the ? of the plural rels…forced a new interest in the singular, generic rel”
272-then idea of nat rel emerged—pailan 94 said “nat rel” had up to 7 diff meanings, from rel arrived at rtlly (coming from disputes btwn xn sects) to the idea that all rels share essential characteristics (from anthrogy comparisons); and w/ the rtl idea, (273) ppl started looking at its origins (eg (274) hume 1757 said its an interp of exprc, coming up w/ “accidents and causes” for things; hume said rel started w/ polytheism or idalotry—to explain hope and fear)—and for many 18th ce ppl, the “relus” was the variety of ways interpreted these exprcs—ultimately in “rtly, morality, or feelings”

275-the explosion of xn sects and discoveries of non-eurpn rels led to more classifications from 16th -19th ce, where all non-abrahamic rels were called idalotors, and (277) later “nature” rels—as in the “evory” sense of being “frozen” at a “stage of dvlpmnt” (ie, the idea of “nat rel” that said rels evolved from a common exprc and rtl thot added)
277-then there were debates that rels evolved diffly depending on race and so in late 19th ce ppl started using term “world” rels to recognize rels’ histories and geography (eg tiele 1876), w/ “morphological” classifications for the “stages of dvlpmnt”—nature to ethical (w/ xnty, islm and budd at top)—b/c they have (279) a “superior civilztn”, w/ xnty as the very best
280-then others, to avoid imperialistic critique, use native cats (eg geertz)
-and in defining rel, some said its ppls world view, understanding of the universal--either theological and rejecting some views (eg Tillich) or not (eg smart), tho this kind can not easily be separated from other ideologies
281-pop anthrogy def is spiro 66—cultrual institution concerning superhuman beings—tho this makes culture very important
-leuba 12 gave 50 diff defs of rel

-“’Rel’ is not a native term; it is a term created by scholars for their intellectual purposes and therefore theirs to define. It is a second-order generic concept that plays the same role in establishing a disciplinary horizon that (282) a concept such as ‘lang’ plays in linguistics or ‘culture’ plays in anthrogy. There can b no disciplined study of rel w/out such a horizon”

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