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In the BeginningThe Navajo Genesis$
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Jerrold Levy

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780520211285

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520211285.001.0001

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Good and Evil, Order and Chaos

Good and Evil, Order and Chaos

(p.179) 8 Good and Evil, Order and Chaos
In the Beginning

Jerrold E. Levy

University of California Press

This chapter takes up the relationship between notions of order and chaos and good and evil. It is here that the two Navajo traditions diverge the most. The Pueblo-like Blessingway tradition tends to be dualistic, opposing good and order to evil and chaos. In this, it is more similar to Christianity than to modern secular thought. The Coyote-Begochidi tradition is more monistic and similar to contemporary science and psychology. Unpredictability is not totally random, and humankind is neither completely good nor entirely evil. Moreover, evil is not as inclusive as it is for Christians and Jews, because untoward events of the natural world are part of the unpredictable natural world and not of themselves evil. Evil is confined to malevolent human acts.

Keywords:   order, chaos, good and evil, Blessingway, Christianity, Coyote-Begochidi

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