In this text, the author shows how to make sense of, and learn from, the diversity of past and present cultures. Drawing on traditions ranging from the Hebrew Bible to the "Bhagavad Gita", Doniger examines other cultures and finds in the world's myths a way to talk about experiences shared across time and space. Doniger shows that myths bridge the cosmic and the familiar, the personal and the abstract, the human and the divine, and that they do so for all cultures. Myths are the tales that are told to bring meaning to life, answer mysteries of birth, death and creation, and good and evil. The author demonstrates how studying myths from cultures other than our own can be exhilarating and illuminating. Even if scholars such as Freud, Jung and Joseph Campbell typically overstated the universality of major myths and suppressed the distinctive natures of other cultures, postmodern critics are wrong to argue that nothing good can come from a systematic comparative study of human cultures. Doniger shows how to critically and responsibly compare stories - or texts or myths or traditions - from different cultures by revealing patterns of truth from themes that recur repeatedly.
She enables the reader to see the "implied spider" that weaves the web of meaning that sustains all human cultures - the fabric of our shared humanity.
A timely meditation on what comparative studies might mean... The Implied Spider wrestles with the problems of carrying out the kind of study represented by Splitting the Difference-a cross-cultural comparison of different stories from different areas of the world, different tribes, different languages. -- Margaret Anne Doody London Review of Books This is a racy, enjoyable book... Deriving from Plato an understanding of myth as both truth and lie, Wendy Doniger brings to her study a wealth of story and folklore from many different traditions, exploring creatively the enduring role of myth through time and across cultures. -- Alwyn Marriage Theological Book Review An entertaining and highly accessible look at how myths reveal what is common to all humanity. Parabola In these creative, often dazzling displays of erudition and insight, Wendy Doniger gives a ceaselessly engaged and always subject-filled view of myth. Another gem in the string of gems that mark Doniger's scholarly productivity. -- Bruce Lawrence, Duke University A book that is particularly worthy of the attention of readers in religious studies beyond the history of religions. Since it is Doniger's most methodological book, The Implied Spider is important, not for its analysis of myths, but for the arguments that it makes in support of the comparative study of myths. Religious Studies Review
1: Knives2: The Parts3: Spider and the Politics of:Universal ProblemsCross-Cultural ProblemsThe Implied SpiderThe Postcolonial and Postmodern Critique of ComparisonThe Problem of IndividualismThe Art and Science of Mythology4: MicroMyths, Macromyths, and MultivocalityThe Myth with No Point of ViewMany VoicesMicromyths and MacromythsThe Myth with Points of ViewInverted Political VersionsInverted Political Readings of Contemporary Mythic Texts5: Mother Goose and the Voices of WomenOld Wives' TalesWomen's Point of ViewMen's Voices in Women's TextsWomen's Voices in Men's TextsAndrogynous LanguageSalvaging Women's Voices6: Textual Pluralism and Academic PluralismThe ArchetypeDiffusion and SurvivalThe Foul Rag and Bones Shop of the HeartJumping off the Bricolage BusThe Greening of Claude Levi-StraussSeventy Different InterpretationsThe MultiversityWalking the TightropeNotes BibliographyIndex
Series: American Lectures on the History of Religions
Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 20th October 1999
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.3