New PDF release: Asia, Modernity, and the Pursuit of the Sacred: Gnostics,

By Joel S. Kahn

ISBN-10: 1137567953

ISBN-13: 9781137567956

ISBN-10: 1349553891

ISBN-13: 9781349553891

Asia, Modernity, and the Pursuit of the Sacred examines numerous Europeans who, dissatisfied with western tradition and faith after international conflict I, and waiting for the non secular seekers of the counterculture, grew to become to the non secular traditions of Asia for notion.

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Additional info for Asia, Modernity, and the Pursuit of the Sacred: Gnostics, Scholars, Mystics, and Reformers

Sample text

Here in such moments . . the hermeneutical understandings and insights of such scholars clearly transgress the boundaries of academic study or speculation. In their subjective poles, these understandings become personally transformative; in their objective poles, they produce genuine insights into the nature of the phenomena under study. These are types of understanding that are at once passionate and critical, personal and objective, religious and academic. Such forms of knowledge are not simply academic, although they are that as well, and rigorously so.

Early traditionalism is European in that it addresses European rather than non-European concerns. (Sedgwick 2011: 169) O ne of the most common criticisms of Western writings on Asia in general, and Asian religion in particular, is that they have less to do with “real” Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. and much more with the (modern/Western) concerns of those who author them. Western accounts of non-Western belief systems are, in other words, better seen as particular kinds of representation rather than descriptions of actually existing Islamic/Buddhist/Hindu/Taoist/Confucian beliefs and practices that they purport to be.

For example, Benjamin Lazier uses the term to characterize developments in twentieth-century theology associated with the ideas of Barth and Rosenzweig, which were subsequently taken up by philosophers, political theorists, and others in Germany and France between the wars, the most significant of whom was Hans Jonas with his monumental work on the Gnostic tradition (Lazier 2008). And although he does not use the term, Riley identifies parallels with that “intellectual pursuit of the sacred” that characterized the work of a number of prominent postDurkheim sociologists and anthropologists in France, a pursuit that, he argues, was taken up again by the exponents of so-called post-structuralism (Riley 2010).

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Asia, Modernity, and the Pursuit of the Sacred: Gnostics, Scholars, Mystics, and Reformers by Joel S. Kahn


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