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- DescriptionWith this influential book of essays, Jonathan Z. Smith has pointed the academic study of religion in a new theoretical direction, one neither theological r willfully ideological. Making use of examples as apparently diverse and exotic as the Maori cults in nineteenth-century New Zealand and the events of Jonestown, Smith shows that religion must be construed as conventional, anthropological, historical, and as an exercise of imagination. In his analyses, religion emerges as the product of historically and geographically situated human ingenuity, cognition, and curiosity simply put, as the result of human labor, one of the decisive but wholly ordinary ways human beings create the worlds in which they live and make sense of them. These seven essays . . . display the critical intelligence, creativity, and sheer common sense that make Smith one of the most methodologically sophisticated and suggestive historians of religion writing today. . . . Smith scrutinizes the fundamental problems of taxomy and comparison in religious studies, suggestively redescribes such basic categories as can and ritual, and shows how frequently studied myths may more likely reflect situational incongruities than vaunted mimetic congruities. His final essay, on Jonestown, demonstrates the interpretive power of the historian of religion to render intelligible that in our own day which seems most bizarre. Richard S. Sarason, <i>Religious Studies Review
- Author Biography<b>Jonathan Z. Smith</b> is the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities at the University of Chicago where he is also a member of the Committee on the History of Culture. Among his numerous books are <i>To Take Place, Drudgery Divine, </i> and <i>Map Is Note Territory</i>, all published by the University of Chicago Press.
- Author(s)Jonathan Z. Smith
- PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
- Date of Publication01/05/1988
- SubjectNon-Christian Religions
- Series TitleChicago Studies in the History of Judaism
- Place of PublicationChicago, IL
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Chicago Press
- Content Note1M.
- Weight260 g
- Width155 mm
- Height230 mm
- Spine10 mm
- Edition StatementNew edition
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