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Matthew King

th Nov 7 From a Marx perspective looking at wealth and materialism Gender, Sex and Religion Asad saw as being proficient in gerrtz identity of religion What Asad saw was wrong with gerrtz is the focus of the 2 half of the course What comes along with the terms we use/what is embedded when calling Buddhism religion? RECAP Last week: Geertz and Asad w/ anthropology, culture and religion (terms) - Masuzawa says: quote on slide, we should be aware every time we do so we mobilize and energize a powerful ideology of modernity**(hopes to make more clear) - Genealogy: What Asad does, critical of geertz o Asking questions about culture and human experience, a method and technique. There are concepts and hidden meanings in everything o The architecture of our experience, the whole system of meaning is embedded in history and culture and we consistently repeat them .  Does the concept that seems so natural, e.g. madness, have a history? Or sexuality? Religion itself? o Technique of historical research (comes from Nietzsche and Foucault)  Morality isn’t timeless; morality has its own history. Looks different in different cultures eg. Medieval England vs. China  This technique is used to study culture  Peeling back the geological layers of the concepts we use to find where they started and the alternative meanings that these words had.  This technique is a powerful tool  It is a lenses used to pull back the idea and understand how things adapt and adopt  Marx: the job of the philosopher is not just to describe the world but to change it o Genealogy: review  The point is to expose the historical and cultural relativiely of these beliefs and to understand the power relations through which this . - Geertzs Vs. Asad o Geertz doesn’t pay attention to power! o Asad thinks this is bullshit and not true, what is the context in which religion is suppose to transform lives o Symbolic anthropology: culture is symbol, it refers to something else, a stop sign is a symbol of stopping  Paying attention to what acts as symbols  How chicken fights are symbols of big notions of masculinity and femininity  Influences a lot of other disciplines  o Gave us a theory of what action is  The construction, apprehension and utilization of human forms which instill certain dispositions in individuals  A form of literacy  Culture shock when traveling: from geertz point of view we don’t have literacy (therefore no apprehension or way to utilize this)  Doesn’t help someone who is trying to learn more about religion  Geertz says you must become literate in another cultures to learn. o Asad is not amused  Says history is a product of discursive processes  It is Eurocentric and tied to a specific moment of the separation in the church aka 95 thesis.  Moves away from symbolic anthropological understanding or religion  He is sensitive to power, discipline, and the formation of religious subjects  What is the context in which human subjects are born?  Power relation, resources? Masculinity? o Asad’s critique of Geertz  Geertz assumes religion is separate from human experience and can’t be reduced  religion would be different from law and politics o Sports as a game and not politics debate  Similar with most people studied thus far  Asad Detects a bias in Geertz def. Of religion  Geertz is Eurocentric, religion can’t be separate according to Asad o Now a big field is open for study (university) o Geertzian perspective  Up until now religion as a category is  Trans cultural  Trans historical o Asad’s intervention!!!  These def. Are essentialization of religions  Group lots of different religion into 1 category  Its like fitting all humans of varying race the exact same.  doesn’t work  Religion has been previously used to map peoples lives and Asad thinks this is a problem. Up until now religion and power existed in two spheres, now they will exist in 1  Asad says the elements and relationships are historically specific and the def. Of religion is itself the historical product of discursive process  2 points that change the way religion is thought of  We are no longer going to assume that all religion comes from the one 95 Thesis of Martin Luther - Asad Says o We have to look at the exercise of power in order to understand how some things are understood and experienced as religious and some are not. o Doesn’t discredit the importance of symbols o Also notes who has access to religion and religious power, or national power, or gender powers  The observer or scholar position is now changed  The role of the individual is now much more important, the society as a whole
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