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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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chapter 4 Other Scholars' UFOs

chapter 4 Other Scholars' UFOs

(p.56) CHAPTER 4 Other Scholars' UFOs
Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on Religion

Daniel Gold

University of California Press

In a bid to examine the ways in which different types of religious materials suggest characteristic aesthetic strategies, this chapter presents works by four important writers. Eliade, Geertz, Georges Dumézil, and Wendy Doniger produced their works on religion in the last half of the twentieth century. The arguments of these interpretive writers appear to have internal coherence, making them both emotionally and intellectually compelling, and can be categorized according to the dimensions of the terrain that provides the material of their construction. The UFOs with which interpretive writers begin may gain considerable weight from carefully constructed arguments, but fissured intellectual grounds still offer religiohistorical constructs no sure place to rest. This approach to crafting arguments continues, as a practical ideal at least, in many physical sciences and may still have an appeal to humanists of scientistic bent.

Keywords:   characteristic aesthetic strategies, interpretive writers, internal coherence, religiohistorical constructs, scientistic bent

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