A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern - download pdf or read online

By Kimberley C. Patton, Benjamin C. Ray

The 1st thorough review of the sphere of comparative faith in 40 years, this groundbreaking quantity surmounts the probably intractable department among postmodern students who reject the comparative exercise and those that verify it. The individuals exhibit broader imaginative and prescient of faith, related to diversified scales of comparability for various reasons, is either justifiable and necessary.
A Magic nonetheless Dwells brings jointly major historians of religions from quite a lot of backgrounds and vantage issues, and attracts from traditions as various as Indo-European mythology, old Greek faith, Judaism, Buddhism, Ndembu ritual, and the spectrum of religions practiced in the USA. The individuals take heavily the postmodern critique, clarify its influence on their paintings, uphold or reject numerous premises, and in numerous situations exhibit new comparative techniques. jointly, the essays signify a state of the art review of present matters within the comparative research of faith.

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Additional info for A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age

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Is the text written? oral? ), its plot and temporal structures, and even its material existence (parts of the text are said to have been burned): ‘Forms disappear, words remain, to signify the impossible. No story can ever be told’ (11), especially, perhaps, the story of absolute power. ‘I the Supreme’ and I the Supreme equally distrust history’s ability and will to convey ‘truth’: ‘The words of power, of authority, words above words, will be transformed into clever words, lying words. Words below words’ (Roa Bastos 1986: 29).

It also exposes what may be the major photographic code, the one that pretends to look uncoded. If the postmodern photographer is more the manipulator of signs than the producer of an art object and the viewer is more the active decoder of messages than the passive consumer or contemplator of aesthetic beauty (Foster 1985: 100), the difference is one of the politics of representation. However, postmodern photography is often overtly about the representation of politics too. The work of Hans Haacke on multinational corporations or of Martha Rosler on the poverty of New York’s Bowery suggests a material and maybe even materialist critique of the modernist art establishment’s separation of the political and the aesthetic and of the art gallery/museum’s neutralization of any possible sense of art as resistance, much less revolution.

Historiographic metafiction represents not just a world of fiction, however self-consciously presented as a constructed one, but also a world of public experience. The difference between this and the realist logic of reference is that here that public world is rendered specifically as discourse. How do we know the past today? Through its discourses, through its texts – that is, through the traces of its historical events: the archival materials, the documents, the narratives of witnesses . . and historians.

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