How do we stand in relation to everything that comes down to us from the past? Is the very idea of tradition still useful in the wake of historical ruptures, such as the Holocaust, changes in the canon, and the end of colonialism? The concept of tradition has gained renewed importance in recent cultural studies. Suspicion of tradition as culturally narrow and oppressive is a persistent theme of modernity and has increased lately with the resurgence of religious traditionalism around the globe. At the same time, various groups demanding recognition for their distinctive cultural identity have reclaimed their traditions. Philosophers from Josiah Royce and Hans-Georg Gadamer to Alasdair MacIntyre have explored the relations between tradition and themes such as freedom, community, self-assertion, originality, and the shared values and interpretations that constitute everyday life. The essays in this volume offer varying, even disparate analyses of religious, literary, and cultural traditions and both responses and resistance to them in a variety of philosophers, novelists, and theologians. They examine works by Gadamer, Royce, MacIntyre, Plato, Jacques Derrida, Charlotte Bronte, Soren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Edith Wharton, Chinua Achebe, John Fowles, Heinrich Boell, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Cotton Mather, Thomas Kuhn, Mikhail Bakhtin, Donald Davidson, Antebellum African-American women preachers, and Christian and Jewish thinkers in the wake of the Holocaust.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 226 x 150 x 15 mm
In this delightfully angular collection, Donald Marshall conducts a conversation with insightful interlocutors in such creatively dialectical fashion as to press into the tough hermeneutical issues and yet simultaneously offer fresh readings of certain accomodatingly resilient texts. This is a conversation deeply indebted to tradition, yet which challenges and extends our appreciation of how tradition works when it works, as also how it ossifies, atrophies or collapses in upon itself when it fails the test of apparent contradiction. Marshall's own excursus upon Plato's introduction to such matters in the Symposium is a brilliant harbinger of very good critical reflection to come in the subsequent essays. -- David Lyle Jeffrey, Provost and Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities, Baylor University
Without sparing the rod of intellectual rigor, this is a sympathetic and broad-ranging anthology of essays renewing and complicating the concept of tradition from Plato to Gadamer and beyond. The editor adds an exemplary introduction. -- Geoffrey Hartman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, Yale University