Thursday, November 05, 2015

How past is the past?

A textually constituted tradition must continually and simultaneously create both the gap and the authority structures that can bridge it. Goody suggests that priestly control of literacy and sacred texts promotes the codification and standardization of 'orthodox' ritual practices in textual form, which in turn establishes a basis for a type of interpretive and exegetical discourse. Such discourse works to constitutes a class of experts and vice versa. These experts maintain both the pastness of the past and their access to it through the elaborate medium of a discipline of interpretation with its methods, skills, first principles, institutions, and credentials.— Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, page 137

<idle musing>
A kind of warped hermeneutical spiral, eh? And self-reinforcing at that. I suspect that only the Holy Spirit can deliver us from it. What do you think?

Deliver us from confirmation bias, Lord!
</idle musing>

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