Tag Archives: religion

(Mother & Martyr) Mistress Rachel (Mainz Anonymous)

There was a distinguished young woman there named Mistress Rachel, daughter of Isaac, son of Asher, who said to her friend: “Four children have I. Have no mercy on them either, lest those uncircumcised ones come and seize them alive … Continue reading

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(Technology) Slaves & Automatic Machine Gods (Aristotle)

The question of technology (techne) runs across the entire Aristotelean corpus. Its most famous instantiation is in the Nicomachean Ethics. It’s there also in the Physics and Metaphysics. It pops up in the Politics in relation to the institution of … Continue reading

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(William James) Religion Is….

I’ve been struggling with the caricature according to which the definition of religion suggested by James is “Protestant.” This is to claim that for James, religion is a private matter, The problem is this. On the one hand, the caricature … Continue reading

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(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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Religion = Spiritual Beings

Teaching Theories and Methods again, the classics.. “Belief” is not quite the right word and not what he actually meant. I’ve lost all patience with beating around the bush as to what people mean by “religion” and “religious.” In social-historical-political … Continue reading

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The State of Israel Does Not Exist (Judaism)

If a state is defined as a sovereign territorial body, then, by the reckoning here by Zvi Bar’el in Haaretz, the State of Israel does not exist. Instead of being a state in which the rule of law applies throughout … Continue reading

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The New New Jewish Left (Samuel Hayim Brody Reads Atalia Omer)

For a uniquely keen analysis of the new new (anti-Zionist) Jewish left, you can find here Samuel Hayim Brody’s sympathetic-critical read of Atalia Omer’s Days of Awe: Reimagining Jewishness in Solidarity with Palestinians. Tagging the rhetorical difference between “Judaism” and … Continue reading

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(Force of Separation) Trump & Orthodox Judaism (Religion, Death, Chaos)

  The conventional wisdom is that what draws religious voters to conservative politics is the appeal of order and structure. The more observant, the more devout the stronger this appeal. We know that 83% of orthodox Jews are supporting Trump, … Continue reading

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Haredim & State

The Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on Haredi society and the impact of Haredi society on the State in Israel are highlighting the strong core point of liberal political theory and liberal religion in relation to matters concerning the distinction … Continue reading

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