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Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on ReligionModern Fascinations$
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Daniel Gold

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520236134

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520236134.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2019

Finding Middle Grounds

Finding Middle Grounds

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter 2 Finding Middle Grounds
Source:
Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on Religion
Author(s):

Daniel Gold

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520236134.003.0003

This chapter examines some ways in which ambivalences played out in the lives of two confessedly conflicted scholars from the first half of the twentieth century: Jane Harrison and Erwin Goodenough, both of whom wrote memoirs. Coming from different sides of the religious spectrum, they each moved from one of these extremes toward a middle ground. Harrison was a self-avowed secularist with a growing passion for Greek ritual. She claimed that an attempt to recover the truths which religion offers through analyses, demands loosening—if not abandoning—traditional theological understandings. Goodenough cherished warm memories of boyhood Methodist enthusiasms even after losing faith in them. His personal point of reference was always a positively valued experience of tradition. In neither case were their feelings toward their subject at all simple, but reflection on what their stances share highlights their appreciation of religio-historical matters.

Keywords:   methodist enthusiasms, ambivalence, conflicted scholars, Jane Harrison, Erwin Goodenough, religio-historical matters

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