This week’s double parashah reflects a fundamental understanding of ancient Israelite religion – and we are not sure that we know what it is. Between parashat Tazria and parashat Metzora, we are presented for four solid chapters of VaYikra (Leviticus) with rules of what anthropologist Mary Douglas called “purity and danger” in her book of the same name. 529 more words
Tags » Mary Douglas
Polonius: (To Hamlet) What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
(Hamlet II, ii, 192-3)
Nobody mistakes a game of football for anything else; there is never the question that it might not be a game of football or that it might be about something other than football. 531 more words
The whole universe is harnessed to men's attempts to force one another into good citizenship (Mary Douglas)
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Pollution ideas work in the life of society at two levels, one largely instrumental, one expressive. At the first level, the more obvious one, we find people trying to influence one another’s behavior.
UPDATE: It has occurred to me that my two part argument—leveling a criticism of the philosophers’ portrayal of biosocial anthropology as censure-worthy at the expense of an understanding of the complexity of its ideas and normalizing biosocial anthropology in post-war ideas by re-categorizing it as philosophical anthropology—that I focused less on ideas and their genealogies (especially the Gellner bits) than was satisfactory. 1,671 more words