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Gauguin and Van Gogh Meet the Ninth Art

Postmodernism and Myths about Great Artists

Matthew Screech

life with Polynesian deities. 7 This article analyses how the above corpus paradoxically perpetuates yet undermines the mythology that, as critics observe, has grown up around Van Gogh and Gauguin. In the albums we discuss, Van Gogh and Gauguin

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A Topographic Event

A Buddhist Lama’s Perception of a Pilgrimage Cave

Jesper Oestergaard

This article discusses a Buddhist lama's perception of a cave, situated in Maratika in the eastern part of Nepal, which is a pilgrimage site to both Hindus and Buddhists. In the Buddhist perspective, Maratika is believed to be the location where the mythological hero Padmasambhava achieved immortality and where he left various traces in the landscape, such as footprints in rocks. Mythology and geography thus intersect in Maratika, whereby myth is spatialized and landscape is temporalized. Through a description of a series of events, in which a specific, newly discovered trace was an object of joint attention between the lama, Karma Wangchuk, and myself, the article illustrates how the perception of the landscape is a mediation between dripstone formations on the walls of the cave and the mythology of Padmasambhava.

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David Allen Harvey

Classical polytheism or “paganism” presented a challenge to the Philhellenes of the Enlightenment, who found it difficult to accept that the greatest minds of antiquity had been taken in by (vide Fontenelle) “a heap of chimeras, delusions, and absurdities.” Rejecting the claim that “paganism” was a deformation of the “natural religion” of the early Hebrew patriarchs, several Enlightenment thinkers developed theories of classical polytheism, presenting it as the apotheosis of the great kings and heroes of the first ages of man, a system of allegorical symbols that conveyed timeless truths, and the effort of a prescientific mentality to understand the hidden forces of nature. Although divergent in their interpretations of “paganism,” these theories converged by separating its origins from Judeo-Christian traditions and presenting religion as an essentially human creation. Thus, Enlightenment theories of classical mythology contributed to the emergence of the more cosmopolitan and tolerant spirit that characterized the age.

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Knowledge, Travel, and Embodied Thought

Restlessness in Herder’s Journal of My Voyage in the Year 1769

John K. Noyes

thousand new and more natural explanations of mythology, or rather a thousand more profound appreciations of its most ancient posts, when one reads Orpheus, Homer, Pindar—and especially the first—on shipboard” ( JV , 227). All of this is laid out, or at

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Why Does God Get It Wrong?

Divine Fallibility in Athens and Jerusalem

Gabriel Kanter Webber

component (‘the feeling for God’). 28 Genesis 1:26–27. 29 Quoted in John C. Lennox, God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway? (Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2011), 24–25. 30 Mark P.O. Morford and Robert J. Lenardon, Classical Mythology , 3rd

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Eric Godelier

Today there is a fascination with a new category of elites: the globalized management businessman. The notion of “elite” refers here to a group of people believed to be more competent in a particular field than others; Jack Welsh (GEC), Bill Gates (Microsoft) are among the best-known examples. The members of this social group have their own perception of reality and they also have a distinct class identity, recognizing themselves as separate and superior to the rest of society. Newcomers are socialized and co-opted by the group on the basis of internal criteria established by the existing group members. Therefore group members are more or less interchangeable and may move from one institution—in this case a corporation—to another within the group. Whether defined as heterogeneous or homogeneous, this group utilizes cultural mythologies that serve to legitimize their status and power: these are the focus of this article.

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Aspects of the Naven Ritual

Conversations with an Iatmul Woman of Papua New Guinea

Florence Weiss and Milan Stanek

Rituals are analyzed in anthropology as non-personal cultural structures, embedded in the overall behavioral patterns and semantic networks that are typical for a particular cultural group. This article focuses on the Iatmul people of Papua New Guinea and their ritual, naven, which features transvestite behavior and ritualized social roles. The authors discuss the ethno-psychoanalytic approach, which focuses on the psychodynamics of the relationship between two persons, the foreign researcher and his or her local counterpart, that develops in the course of a series of conversations. The narrative shifts to a case study involving Weiss and an Iatmul woman, Magendaua, which took place over three months. Their conversations particularly illuminate the meanings of the naven ritual. The use Magendaua made of the naven can be characterized as a transformation of the tensions in the relationship with her Swiss ethnographic-interlocutor and interpreted as a general feature of the rituals of this type.

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Craig San Roque

This article explores the relationship of Central Australian 'Dreaming', or Tjukurrp, to symbol and thought formation in Aboriginal culture. Acknowledgment is given to ethnographic and indigenous descriptions of Tjukurrp and to Aboriginal mythopoeia, but the author is primarily concerned with how thoughts are made and what they are made of. Comparisons are drawn to European myths and cults in order to understand how Tjukurrp and myth might influence intercultural transference. The author suggests that through an anthropological and psychoanalytical analysis of intercultural conversations and an understanding of Tjukurrp's structure and content, non-indigenous people working in health and law might appreciate and comprehend Aboriginal thinking and thus be more effective in various aspects of engagement. In this meditation on thought formation and failure, the author seeks to understand the relationships between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, so that those who intend to help do not end up destroying.

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Materiality as an Agency of Knowledge

Competing Forms of Knowledge in Rachel's Tomb in Tiberias

Nimrod Luz

my argument, I explore the emerging site of Rachel's Tomb in Tiberias and competing versions of truth surrounding it. I contend that its new materiality, as evolved in recent years, serves as a way of validating the site's new mythology. However

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‘Are We Coming to Make a Documentary or a Surrealist Film?’

Demythifying Luis Buñuel’s Tierra sin pan in Fermín Solís’s Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas

Marc Ripley

, as well as to explain the consolidation of the mythology of the region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. First, a caveat is needed. To use the term ‘documentary’ without further qualification to refer to Tierra sin pan when a number of key