Tag Archives: nature

(Animism) Primitive Jewish Culture (E.B. Tylor)

Jewish culture and Judaism spot E.B. Tylor’s monumental Primitive Culture. There is no special theory of Jewish culture or Judaism in Primitive Culture. Judaism is nothing special, just one more dataset in the ethnographic record. Primitive Judaism is folklore Primitive … Continue reading

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Animism, Affect, Spiritual Beings (E.B. Tylor)

In late mid-career, I finally got around to E.B. Tylor’s Primitive Culture and more of these musty nineteenth century contributions to the science of Religion. I am now including in my graduate seminar on Theories and Methods Max Müller’s Lectures … Continue reading

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Creative Evolution Supra Consciousness (Henri Bergson)

Bergson’s philosophical method in Creative Evolution is primarily contemplative and visual: recognize reality as a flux of matter and mind, and dissolve back into it by following the course of its creative evolution (pp.191-2). The world picture is art nouveau: … Continue reading

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Planet Earth & Replicants (The View From Solaris)

The plot of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972) is basic enough. Sometime in the near future, Soviet psychologist Kris Kelvin goes to investigate goings on at the space station orbiting the planet Solaris. A massive churning sea with a mind of … Continue reading

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(Violent Surge of Excellent Writing) Habakkuk (Shavuot)

Locked up tight in the liturgical reading of Scripture in the synagogue as the haftarah on the second day of Shavuot, the holiday of revelation, the manifestation of  God in the third chapter of Habbakuk signals total world disaster. In … Continue reading

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Red-tailed Hawk Fledgings & Angel’s Horn (St John the Divine)

Would someone versed in Christian/Episcopal iconography please help me identify the angel on the back end of the roof of St John the Divine overlooking Morningside Drive down below.  The cathedral being St John, is the angel one of the … Continue reading

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Affect & Potential (Aristotle)

When defining affect, many will go back to Spinoza, the capacity for being affected.  More useful perhaps is this from Aristotle which I think should be read in tandem with this bit on potentiality. The first puts the emphasis on alteration, … Continue reading

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Opera & Landscape (David Hockney)

A musical painter or a painter of music, David Hockney painted landscapes and operatic sets –and they are glorious. The first painting that I have posted above is a view on a drive on the hilly Pacific Highway with Los … Continue reading

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Religion, Things, Idea, Sensation (Reading Max Müller)

In putting together the syllabus for my graduate seminar, I decided to add the almost but never quite long forgotten Max Müller to his rightful place in the canon of classical theories and methods in the study of Religion. I … Continue reading

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Genesis (Earth Grassing Grasses, Seed Seeding Plants, Fruit Making Fruit Trees)

  I spent some time staring at the Hebrew in synagogue this week, particularly vivid, but lost in translation. Earth being the active subject of Genesis 1:11-12 requires peculiar linguistic convolutions. 11…T’dashe ha’aretz deshe esev mazriah zerah etz pri osheh … Continue reading

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