Re: New Topic?

Thu, 24 Mar 1994 19:26:15 EST

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
On Thu, 24 Mar 1994 12:01:20 +0000 you said:
>Is there a difference in traditions/intentions between:-
>(1) Locating meaning and authority within the original text; we are then
>critics/commentators on the text (I'm thinking specifically of
>Ayurveda, Sanskrit religious texts, Tamil poetry, the work of Marx), and;

This may help a bit: in philosophy the sort of reading you describe
is called an "immanent critique" (it's the basic scholarly tool I
learned to use as an undergraduate philosophy major--looking for
internal inconsistencies); in religious studies, that sort of
exegesis becomes easily one of theology (or I suppose to be generous
one could also include philosophy of religion as an outcome). In
any event, in religious studies it's assumed to be emically situated.

>(2) Locating the production of meaning and authority outside of the
>text, i.e. in the hands of the writers who synthesise and use the text
>as part of their own agenda/thought/argument?

I don't understand this aspect of your question. The first part--
locating meaning and authority outside...etc--suggests to me the
approach of a historian (I'm one of those folks), and is usually
one intended to be etically placed (well, we try anyway). But the
"i.e." part indicates that you're really wanting to know about
folks which make my lip curl, i.e., propagandists and other rabble-
rousers pretending to be historians who aren't. True, I
do overstate my case. All I mean to indicate is that text always
exists in context. Identifying what the context is, I believe
wholeheartedly, is a useful and worthy enterprise for scholarship.

Whichever...I'm fond of quotes, properly acknowledged, commented
upon, annotated, variorum...all that good stuff!

Maybe you could give an example or two of what you're after?

best wishes,

maureen korp
university of Ottawa


>Would (1) tend to prefer (acually to require) direct quotes, where (2)
>would prefer (easier to re-interpret, misrepresent, synthesise one
>meaning, one reading, hence persuade) paraphrase?
> Caroline