The Rites of Identity: The Religious Naturalism and Cultural Criticism of Kenneth Burke and Ralph Ellison
Princeton University Press, 10 янв. 2009 г. - Всего страниц: 224
The Rites of Identity argues that Kenneth Burke was the most deciding influence on Ralph Ellison's writings, that Burke and Ellison are firmly situated within the American tradition of religious naturalism, and that this tradition--properly understood as religious--offers a highly useful means for considering contemporary identity and mitigating religious conflict.
Beth Eddy adds Burke and Ellison to a tradition of religious naturalism that traces back to Ralph Waldo Emerson but received its most nuanced expression in the work of George Santayana. Through close readings of the essays and fiction of Burke and Ellison, Eddy shows the extent to which their cultural criticisms are intertwined. Both offer a naturalized understanding of piety, explore the psychological and social dynamics of scapegoating, and propose comic religious resources. And both explicitly connect these religious categories to identity, be it religious, racial, national, ethnic, or gendered. Eddy--arguing that the most socially damaging uses of religious language and ritual are connected to the best uses that such language has to offer--finds in Burke and Ellison ways to manage this precarious situation and to mitigate religious violence through wise use of performative symbolic action.
By placing Burke and Ellison in a tradition of pragmatic thought, The Rites of Identity uncovers an antiessentialist approach to identity that serves the moral needs of a world that is constantly negotiating, performing, and ritualizing changes of identity.
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CHAPTER ONE IDENTITY AND THE RITES OF SYMBOLIC ACTION The skin is
a line of demarcation, a periphery, the fence, the form, the shape, the first clue to
identity in a society (for instance, color in a racist society), and, in purely physical
On the other hand, too often the only voices calling for an end to conflict have
naive expectations or envision the assimilation of one party to another one
without substantial change. Identities serve both as the insignia that clotheus in
uniform to ...
This is unfortunate; if solidarity informs what sense of community we have, then
the central concern with identity of these two men would help us fill out the uses,
abuses, and limitations of human solidarity and would highlight the stakes we ...
For Burke, identity is thoroughly social. He writes, “The so-called 'I' is merely a
unique combination of partially conflicting corporate we's.”90 Though this
individual is marked by its own psychological processes and actively holds
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