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Beyond Explanation: Religious Dimensions in Cultural Anthropology

By author: Mark Kline Taylor
Product Code: H155
ISBN: 9780865541658
Product Format: Hardback
Publisher: Mercer University Press
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Price: $35.00

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In an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis Mark Kline Taylor probes “the hermeneutic of suspicion” in recent anthropological interpretations of religious phenomena, focusing on the work of Claude Levi-Strauss and Marvin Harris. Drawing on one strand in the Christian tradition and another in contemporary philosophical theology-represented most fully in the work of Paul Ricoeur-Professor Taylor presents the possibility of discerning and fostering a religious dimension in human experience, even within anthropological inquiry itself. At the deepest “moment of understanding” that accompanies the effort to explain a particular “wholly other” culture, anthropologists must appeal to concepts derived from their own particular experience. But, Professor Taylor wonders, is the task of theology so different? The theological drive toward universality, despite the particularity of its forms, allows religious reflection to become a genuine conversation partner with an anthropologic “understanding” that also transcends space, culture, and time.
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