The Invention of Sacred Tradition

The Invention of Sacred Tradition

by James R. Lewis
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521864798

ISBN-13: 9780521864794

Pub. Date: 10/31/2007

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

The dictionary definition of tradition refers to beliefs and practices that have been transmitted from generation to generation; however, "tradition" can rest simply on the claim that certain cultural elements are rooted in the past. Claim and documented historical reality need not overlap. In the domain of religion, historically verifiable traditions coexist with…  See more details below

Overview

The dictionary definition of tradition refers to beliefs and practices that have been transmitted from generation to generation; however, "tradition" can rest simply on the claim that certain cultural elements are rooted in the past. Claim and documented historical reality need not overlap. In the domain of religion, historically verifiable traditions coexist with recent innovations whose origins are spuriously projected back into time. This book examines the phenomenon of "invented traditions" in religions ranging in time from Zoroastrianism to Scientology, and geographically from Tibet to North America and Europe. The various contributions, together with an introduction that surveys the field, use individual case studies to address questions such as the rationale for creating a historical tradition for one's doctrines and rituals; the mechanisms by which hitherto unknown texts can enter an existing corpus; and issues of acceptance and skepticism in the reception of dubious texts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521864794
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/31/2007
Pages:
318
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.91(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures     vii
Notes on contributors     viii
Introduction   Olav Hammer   James R. Lewis     1
Scientology, scripture, and sacred tradition   Mikael Rothstein     18
"He may be lying but what he says is true": the sacred tradition of don Juan as reported by Carlos Castaneda, anthropologist, trickster, guru, allegorist   Charlotte E. Hardman     38
The invention of sacred tradition: Mormonism   Douglas J. Davies     56
Antisemitism, conspiracy culture, Christianity, and Islam: the history and contemporary religious significance of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion   Christopher Partridge   Ron Geaves     56
The invention of a counter-tradition: the case of the North American anti-cult movement   David G. Bromley   Douglas E. Cowan     75
"Heavenly deception"? Sun Myung Moon and Divine Principle   George D. Chryssides     118
"Forgery" in the New Testament   Einar Thomassen     141
Three phases of inventing Rosicrucian tradition in the seventeenth century   Susanna Akerman     158
A name for all and no one: Zoroaster as a figure of authorization and a screen of ascription   Michael Stausberg     177
The peculiar sleep: receiving The Urantia Book   Sarah Lewis     199
Ontology of the past and its materialization in Tibetan treasures   Holly Gayley     213
Pseudo-Dionysius: the mediation of sacred traditions   Kevin Corrigan   Michael Harrington     241
Spurious attribution in the Hebrew Bible   Philip R. Davies     258
Inventing Paganisms: making nature   Graham Harvey     277
Index     291

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