Many of the traditions which we think of as very ancient in their origins were not in fact sanctioned by long usage over the centuries, but were invented comparatively recently. This book explores examples of this process of invention - the creation of Welsh and Scottish 'national culture'; the elaboration of British royal rituals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the origins of imperial rituals in British India and Africa; and the attempts by radical movements to develop counter-traditions of their own. It addresses the complex interaction of past and present, bringing together historians and anthropologists in a fascinating study of ritual and symbolism which poses new questions for the understanding of our history.
Many of the traditions which we think of as very ancient in their origins were not in fact sanctioned by long usage over the centuries, but were invented comparatively recently. This book explores examples of this process of invention – the creation of Welsh and Scottish 'national culture'; the elaboration of British royal rituals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the origins of imperial rituals in British India and Africa; and the attempts by radical movements to develop counter-traditions of their own. It addresses the complex interaction of past and present, bringing together historians and anthropologists in a fascinating study of ritual and symbolism which poses new questions for the understanding of our history.
Papers Read at a NOSTER Conference in Soesterberg, January 4-6, 1999
Author: J. W. van Henten,Anton W. J. Houtepen,Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Theologie en Religiewetenschap
Publisher: Uitgeverij Van Gorcum
"The present book contains the contributions to the first conference of the Netherlands School for Advanced Studies and Religion (NOSTER) ... The conference theme was inspired by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger's influential volume, The Invention of Tradition."--Introd., p. .
This work provides seeks to foster a better understanding of the multifaceted phenomenon of political Islam, especially in the context of the post-Arab Spring Middle East. The aim of this work is to refute the oft-cited cliche that "Islamists" are hostile to representative and accountable government and seek a return to some distant, barbaric past. To the contrary, many Islamists have made innovative contributions to religiously informed political thought in the Islamic context. In actual fact, no "Islamic state" has ever existed in the history of Islam, and the Islamist conviction that religion and life (state) are inseparable is a highly contested issue. The aim of this work, then, is to illustrate political Islam as an invented tradition. "This study provides both an important and necessary historical contextualization and a clear analysis of the political alternatives in the Middle East and Muslim world in the 21st century. The second decade of the 21st century is emerging as a time of significant change in political and societal institutions in the region. People are speculating about the end of the political order that was created at the end of World War I, and Roberts's analysis provides readers with a good guide to understanding important dimensions of these transformations." -John O. Voll, Professor Emeritus of Islamic History, Georgetown University "Roberts's work is a refreshing contribution to the discourse on Islam and politics. At a time when some societies are plagued by Islamophobia (all over the world - including Muslim societies), the book reveals and uncovers through academic analysis a rich history. This contribution is one of very few that have a solid grounding in both traditions: Western liberal democracy, and Islamic political thought. The author does a remarkable job of simplifying in Islamic traditions concepts that were tackled by other authors in the field, but never so lucidly." -Deina Abdelkader, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell "The importance and value of history tends to elude most Americans. With prescience and clarity, Political Islam and the Invention of Tradition reminds policy makers, analysts, and students of why the study of history is so important for understanding current events, especially in a complicated region such as the Middle East. This book is unique among academic monographs in that, although scholarly in scope, tone, and source material, it has practical, applicable value for those working on issues of foreign policy and public affairs in the Middle East." -F. William Smullen, III, Maxwell Senior Fellow in National Security Studies, Syracuse University. Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of State "Mr. Roberts's book provides policy makers with a useful guide for understanding the historical development of Political Islam. Most importantly, it encourages dynamic thinking about this phenomenon and the role it could play in U.S. foreign policy in the future. A must read for policy makers, military, and foreign service officers." -Donald L. Kerrick, Lt. General, United States Army, (Retired). Former Deputy National Security Advisor to President William J. Clinton"
This collection of essays challenges the notion that Japan's present cultural identity is the simple legacy of its pre-modern and insular past. Scholars examine "age-old" Japanese cultural practices and show these to be largely creations of the modern era.
The Event that Never was and the Invention of Tradition
Author: Jesse Spohnholz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The Convent of Wesel was long believed to be a clandestine assembly of Protestant leaders in 1568 that helped establish foundations for Reformed churches in the Dutch Republic and northwest Germany. However, Jesse Spohnholz shows that that event did not happen, but was an idea created and perpetuated by historians and record keepers since the 1600s. Appropriately, this book offers not just a fascinating snapshot of Reformation history but a reflection on the nature of historical inquiry itself. The Convent of Wesel begins with a detailed microhistory that unravels the mystery and then traces knowledge about the document at the centre of the mystery over four and a half centuries, through historical writing, archiving and centenary commemorations. Spohnholz reveals how historians can inadvertently align themselves with protagonists in the debates they study and thus replicate errors that conceal the dynamic complexity of the past.
This book explores manifestations of creativity in the religious domain. Specifically, the contributions focus on the nexus of the sacred and the creative, and the mechanisms of syncretism and (re)invention of tradition by which this manifestations occur. The text is divided into two sections. In the first, empirical cases of spirituality characterized by syncretistic processes are highlighted; in the second, examples which can be traced back to forms of the (re)invention of tradition are examined. The authors document possible forms of adaptations and religious enculturation. In the second, the authors demonstrate that spiritual traditions, whether ancient or historically fictitious, are suitable for reframing in the context of critical interpretative frameworks related to cultural expectations which challenge them and call their continuity into question.
This book takes as its theme the ways in which governments legitimate their rule, both to themselves and to their subjects. Its introduction explores legitimacy and pre-colonial states, but the three sections of the book deal with colonial legitimacy, the question of legitimation in the transition from colonialism to majority rule, and the contemporary debate about accountability.
The Third Karmapa and the Invention of a Tradition
Author: Ruth Gamble
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism examines how the third Karmapa hierarch, Rangjung Dorjé (1284-1339) transformed reincarnation from a belief into a lasting Tibetan institution. Born the son of an itinerant, low-caste potter, Rangjung Dorjé went on to become a foundational figure in Tibetan Buddhism and a teacher of the last Mongolian emperor. He became renowned for his contributions to Buddhist philosophy, literature, astrology, medicine, architecture, sacred geography and manuscript production. But, as Ruth Gamble demonstrates, his most important legacy was the transformation of the Karmapa reincarnation lineage to ensure that, after his death, subsequent Karmapas were able to assume power in the religious institutions he had led. The inheritance model of reincarnation instituted by Rangjung Dorjé changed the Tibetan Plateau's power relations, which until that time had been based on family associations, and created a precedent for later reincarnate institutions, including that of the Dalai Lamas. Drawing on Rangjung Dorjé's hitherto un-translated autobiographies and autobiographical songs, this book shows that his reinvention of reincarnation was a self-conscious and multi-faceted project, made possible by Rangjung Dorjé's cultural, social, and political standing and specific historical and geographical circumstances. Exploring this combination of agency and historical coincidence, this is the first full-length study of the development of the reincarnation institution.
The Invention of Hebrewis the first book to approach the Bible in light of recent findings on the use of the Hebrew alphabet as a deliberate and meaningful choice. Seth L. Sanders connects the Bible's distinctive linguistic form--writing down a local spoken language--to a cultural desire to speak directly to people, summoning them to join a new community that the text itself helped call into being. Addressing the people of Israel through a vernacular literature, Hebrew texts gained the ability to address their audience as a public. By comparing Biblical documents with related ancient texts in Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Babylonian, this book details distinct ways in which Hebrew was a powerfully self-conscious political language. Revealing the enduring political stakes of Biblical writing,The Invention of Hebrewdemonstrates how Hebrew assumed and promoted a source of power previously unknown in written literature: "the people" as the protagonist of religion and politics.
How did the value of freedom become so closely associated with the institution of the market? Why did the idea of market freedom hold so little appeal before the modern period and how can we explain its rise to dominance? In The Invention of Market Freedom, Eric MacGilvray addresses these questions by contrasting the market conception of freedom with the republican view that it displaced. After analyzing the ethical core and exploring the conceptual complexity of republican freedom, MacGilvray shows how this way of thinking was confronted with, altered in response to, and finally overcome by the rise of modern market societies. By learning to see market freedom as something that was invented, we can become more alert to the ways in which the appeal to freedom shapes and distorts our thinking about politics.
In this startling original work of historical detection, Mark D. Jordan explores the invention of Sodomy by medieval Christendom, examining its conceptual foundations in theology and gauging its impact on Christian sexual ethics both then and now. This book is for everyone involved in the ongoing debate within organized religions and society in general over moral judgments of same-sex eroticism. "A crucial contribution to our understanding of the tortured and tortuous relationship between men who love men, and the Christian religion—indeed, between our kind and Western society as a whole. . . . The true power of Jordan's study is that it gives back to gay and lesbian people our place in history and that it places before modern theologians and church leaders a detailed history of fear, inconsistency, hatred and oppression that must be faced both intellectually and pastorally."—Michael B. Kelly, Screaming Hyena "[A] detailed and disturbing tour through the back roads of medieval Christian thought."—Dennis O'Brien, Commonweal "Being gay and being Catholic are not necessarily incompatible modes of life, Jordan argues. . . . Compelling and deeply learned."—Virginia Quarterly Review
Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention of Greek Prose
Author: Leslie Kurke
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Examining the figure of Aesop and the traditions surrounding him, Aesopic Conversations offers a portrait of what Greek popular culture might have looked like in the ancient world. What has survived from the literary record of antiquity is almost entirely the product of an elite of birth, wealth, and education, limiting our access to a fuller range of voices from the ancient past. This book, however, explores the anonymous Life of Aesop and offers a different set of perspectives. Leslie Kurke argues that the traditions surrounding this strange text, when read with and against the works of Greek high culture, allow us to reconstruct an ongoing conversation of "great" and "little" traditions spanning centuries. Evidence going back to the fifth century BCE suggests that Aesop participated in the practices of nonphilosophical wisdom (sophia) while challenging it from below, and Kurke traces Aesop's double relation to this wisdom tradition. She also looks at the hidden influence of Aesop in early Greek mimetic or narrative prose writings, focusing particularly on the Socratic dialogues of Plato and the Histories of Herodotus. Challenging conventional accounts of the invention of Greek prose and recognizing the problematic sociopolitics of humble prose fable, Kurke provides a new approach to the beginnings of prose narrative and what would ultimately become the novel. Delving into Aesop, his adventures, and his crafting of fables, Aesopic Conversations shows how this low, noncanonical figure was--unexpectedly--central to the construction of ancient Greek literature. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
The essays in this volume, which lie at the intersection of the study of literature, social theory, and intellectual history, locate serious reflections on modernity's complexities in the vibrant currents of modern Indian literature, particularly in the realms of fiction, poetry, and autobiography. Sudipta Kaviraj shows that Indian writers did more than adopt new literary trends in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They deployed these innovations to interrogate fundamental philosophical questions of modernity. Issues central to modern European social theory grew into significant themes within Indian literary reflection, such as the influence of modernity on the nature of the self, the nature of historicity, the problem of evil, the character of power under the conditions of modern history, and the experience of power as felt by an individual subject of the modern state. How does modern politics affect the personality of a sensitive individual? Is love possible between intensely self-conscious people, and how do individuals cope with the transience of affections or the fragility of social ties? Kaviraj argues that these inquiries inform the heart of modern Indian literary tradition and that writers, such as Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore, and Sibnath Sastri, performed immeasurably important work helping readers to think through the predicament of modern times.
Who invented God? When, why, and where? Thomas Römer seeks to answer these enigmatic questions about the deity of the great monotheisms—Yhwh, God, or Allah—by tracing Israelite beliefs and their context from the Bronze Age to the end of the Old Testament period in the third century BCE, in a masterpiece of detective work and exposition.