This, despite the fact that such treatments are poisons destroying the health of the immune system and its vital healing function while killing cancer cells — definitely counter-intuitive.
Introduction In a recent discussion of the idea of tradition, R.
How much weight should be placed on this characterisation? As a reader it occurred to me only as a strange blip in an otherwise nicely crafted meditation on the problem of tradition. Its interest lies in that it seems to add nothing at all to our understanding.
This reader can only guess that its inclusion was an unconscious reflex, a small and relatively inconsequential ritual genuflection to a categorical imperative that might stray into the text of even the most methodologically sophisticated writer.
I assume that the Shinto part of the ceremony is associated with religion because, well, because we all know that Shinto is a religion. There are gods in it.
But why describe the party afterwards as highly secular? Edwards has clearly shown that it is at the party that many of the core symbols and deeply held convictions, including the subordination of individual autonomy and the hierarchical interdependence of all the actors, are given powerful expression.
It is interesting that Turner himself describes these statuses, and their ritual transformation, as having a sacred component, and he denies that the distinction between structure and communitas is the same as that between secular and sacred It seems then that Turner himself does use the terms loosely from time to time, and without any apparent theoretical gain.
Indeed one might say there is a contradiction in his usages, for almost immediately afterwards he says: Certain fixed offices in tribal societies have many sacred attributes; indeed, every social position has some sacred characteristics.
Something of the sacredness of that transient humility and modelessness goes over… Turner, Turner is not concerned here with the religion-secular dichotomy.
He is concerned presumably with core symbols and deeply held convictions. He is concerned with one significant aspect of the way the social order and the cosmology in which it is located are reproduced through ritual. At the Japanese weddings that I have attended, including my own, the social order was symbolically represented at the party that followed the Shinto ritual by the seating arrangements, in the order of precedence in speech making, and in the quite complex structure of gift exchange, as Edwards so effectively described.
The mood in both the Shinto part and in the first part of the reception afterwards was solemn, deferential and serious, and it would have been meaningless to claim that while the solemnity at the Shinto part was a religious solemnity, the solemnity during the speech-making was merely a secular solemnity.
Indeed, the tone of speech-making reminded me strongly of the sermons my grandfather used to preach in church — solemn, boring, but something to be endured. At the Kyushu weddings I attended, as sake drinking progressed, the order of deference was demolished and replaced by communitas.
The other must then take the sake container and reciprocate. At the wedding parties I attended, the huge reception room was criss-crossed by men, and sometimes women, in search of a sake exchange ritual. The use of polite language became progressively more difficult to maintain as sake flowed, boundaries were crossed and status differentials obliterated.
Even gender distinctions came under attack as women too became the target of sake exchanges, and structure temporarily collapsed into a benign drunken communitas. I can hardly think of a better example of communitas in the midst of a rite of passage. But nor can I see any gain to our understanding in calling this ritual secular, in contrast to the shrine ritual which Smith calls religious .
What happens in the shrine and what happens in the earlier and later parts of the reception room both give expression to core symbols and deeply held convictions.
It may not be a coincidence that anthropologists who discuss religion are less likely to become submerged by conceptual problems that the category typically induces than are those who come from religious studies . This is because anthropologists tend to have a more sophisticated grasp of the ethnocentric bias of categories, and a greater range of alternatives through which to lessen the perhaps inevitable distortion that occurs when the concepts of one culture are used to describe and explain another.
It is as though many of us genuflect before the categorical imperative of religion even though we know through experience that it introduces unnecessary confusions, not clarity. All of these ideas about the meaning and definition of religion can be found in the huge number of texts produced on the elusive subject; and frequently many different usages can be found in the same text.
Some of the usages may seem more metaphorical than others, as when for example money is described as a religion and economists as the high priests of capital, or when Marxism-Leninism is described as a religion and the Party as a church of the faithful. There is a historical context and geographical location.
But many scholars in religion, and in other disciplines such as history, sociology and social anthropology, still apply it freely to any historical period in virtually any society.
We can easily find books and articles about the religions of the native American peoples, about African religions, about the religion of the Buddha in ancient India, about Japanese religion in the Heian or Kamakura periods, about the religious currents of contemporary Japanese society, and so on.
What can be the justification for this? Religion as an essence or religion as a heuristic device? Some very influential writers have claimed that religion itself has an essence in the personal experience of the individual with God, but that manifestations of religion are bound to be clearer in some parts and more ambiguous in others .Modernization and Dependency theory Nowadays the rapid development of the word and the growing integration of countries can hardly fail to affect the development of new theories which attempt to explain the relationship between countries and the existing inequality between developed countries and countries of the third world.
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