By Wendy Doniger
Wendy Doniger's foundational learn is either sleek in its engagement with a various variety of religions and refreshingly vintage in its transhistorical, cross-cultural strategy. via responsibly examining styles and issues throughout context, Doniger reinvigorates the comparative analyzing of faith, tapping right into a wealth of narrative traditions, from the instructive stories of Judaism and Christianity to the ethical classes of the Bhagavad Gita. She extracts political which means from a number of texts whereas respecting the unique rules of every. a brand new preface confronts the trouble of contextualizing the comparability of religions in addition to controversies over identifying matters and positioning arguments, and the textual content itself is elevated and up to date throughout.
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Extra resources for The Implied Spider, Updated with a New Preface: Politics and Theology in Myth
55 The double vision of a dead philosopher writing about the human condition in general and the immediate problem posed by totally new, totally speciﬁc human details produced this particular shock of recognition. Kierkegaard’s general insights into human nature allowed Roosevelt to understand not that the Nazi evil had occurred (which, by then, he knew) but how it could have occurred. Delbanco also wrote about the effect of the publication of John Hersey’s Hiroshima in a 1946 New Yorker magazine: Hersey gave the anonymous victims of the nuclear ﬁrestorm faces and names.
25 Footprints in the ancient world26 and ﬁngerprints in the modern have been used to identify individuals. There is a political irony in the fact that the British learned the technique of ﬁngerprinting from the Bengalis and then used it to control them (and other Indians). ”27 In 1860 Sir William Herschel, District Commissioner of Hooghly in Bengal, discovered this technique and decided to use it: “In India, as in other British colonies, the natives were illiterate, disputatious, wily, deceitful, and to the eyes of a European all looked the same.
2 Not to see the likeness in two different things is to miss the similarity of the woman and the lover (who sees the similarity of day and night) and the similarity of them and the nocturnal poets (to whom day and night are alike). Difference can be alienating; likeness, even the likeness that confuses night and day, generates love. At the same time, we must acknowledge that the emphasis on likeness, often epitomized by its critics in the same metaphor that James Tate uses to defend it (the metaphor of not seeing in the dark), has done great harm in the history of the study of other peoples’ cultures.