The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth

The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth

by Wendy Doniger
     
 

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Finding in the world's myths -its sacred stories -a way to talk about experiences shared across time and space, Doniger champions the cause of comparative mythology as she expertly taps a wealth of traditions -from the Hebrew Bible to the Bhagavad Gita.
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Overview

Finding in the world's myths -its sacred stories -a way to talk about experiences shared across time and space, Doniger champions the cause of comparative mythology as she expertly taps a wealth of traditions -from the Hebrew Bible to the Bhagavad Gita.

Editorial Reviews

Parabola
An entertaining and highly accesible look at how myths reveal what is common to all humanity.
Bruce Lawrence
In these creative, often dazzling displays of erudition and insight, Wendy Doniger gives a ceaselessly engaged and always subject-filled view of myth. Another gem in the string of gems that mark Doniger's scholarly productivity.
Alwyn Marriage
This is a racy, enjoyable book. . . . Deriving from Plato an understanding of myth as both truth and lie, Wendy Doniger brings to her study a wealth of story and folklore from many different traditions, exploring creatively the enduring role of myth through time and across cultures.
Margaret Anne Doody
A timely meditation on what comparative studies might mean. . . . The Implied Spider wrestles with the problems of carrying out the kind of study represented by Splitting the Difference -a cross-cultural comparison of different stories from different areas of the world, different tribes, different languages.
J.E. Llewellyn
The Implied Spider is a book that is particularly worthy of the attention of readers in religious studies beyond the history of religions.
Library Journal
Doniger here offers an introduction to comparative mythology. By analyzing the political, theological, and psychological structures of the sacred stories of various cultures through time, from the Hebrew Bible to "Star Trek," Doniger shows how myths create a shared interdisciplinary narrative of all human cultures. She also argues that sorting out the feminine voice in this male-dominated art supplements our fragmented understanding of myths. Ultimately, Doniger shows that myths are a means of transcending daily life. Ranging widely, she offers a detailed, scholarly account that may not be easy reading for genreral audiences, however intriguing her premise. -- Leo Vincent Kriz, West Des Moines Library, Iowa
Booknews
This study analyzes and compares mythologies from different cultures, arguing for myth as an expression of the universality of human experience, without ignoring the distinctive elements of each cultural source. In doing so, Doniger (U. of Chicago, religion) seeks to rescue comparative mythology from its postcolonial and postmodern critics and their charges of irrelevance and/or political incorrectness. In addition to historical myths, Doniger also considers classical literature and popular culture as repositories of myth.
London Review of Books

A timely meditation on what comparative studies might mean... a cross-cultural comparison of different stories from different areas of the world, different tribes, different languages.

Theological Book Review

A racy, enjoyable book.... Wendy Doniger brings to her study a wealth of story and folklore from many different traditions, exploring creatively the enduring role of myth through time and across cultures.

Religious Studies Review

A book that is particularly worthy of the attention of readers in religious studies beyond the history of religions. Since it is Wendy Doniger's most methodological book, The Implied Spider is important, not for its analysis of myths, but for the arguments that it makes in support of the comparative study of myths.

Church History

Sparkling with erudite and often entertaining intertextual references, The Implied Spider is an impressive web delicately constructed of deft analysis together with a sustained argument about the myth's ability to convey and conjure the theological and the political. With its challenges to literary theorists, historians, and ethnographers, it takes various bulls by their respective horns. It will doubtless delight and surely provoke readers, whatever their ilk.

Theological Book Review - Alwyn Marriage

This is a racy, enjoyable book.... Deriving from Plato an understanding of myth as both truth and lie, Wendy Doniger brings to her study a wealth of story and folklore from many different traditions, exploring creatively the enduring role of myth through time and across cultures.

London Review of Books - Margaret Anne Doody
A timely meditation on what comparative studies might mean.... The Implied Spider wrestles with the problems of carrying out the kind of study represented by Splitting the Difference — a cross-cultural comparison of different stories from different areas of the world, different tribes, different languages.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231156417
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
12/15/2010
Series:
American Lectures on the History of Religions Series
Edition description:
Updated with a new preface
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Wendy Doniger
Of all things made with words, myths span the widest of human concerns. -- From The Implied Spider

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