Religion and Cultural Memory: Ten Studies

Religion and Cultural Memory: Ten Studies

by Jan Assmann
     
 

ISBN-10: 0804745234

ISBN-13: 9780804745239

Pub. Date: 11/28/2005

Publisher: Stanford University Press

In ten brilliant essays, Jan Assmann explores the connections between religion, culture, and memory. Building on Maurice Halbwachs's idea that memory, like language, is a social phenomenon as well as an individual one, he argues that memory has a cultural dimension too. He develops a persuasive view of the life of the past in such surface phenomena as codes,

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Overview

In ten brilliant essays, Jan Assmann explores the connections between religion, culture, and memory. Building on Maurice Halbwachs's idea that memory, like language, is a social phenomenon as well as an individual one, he argues that memory has a cultural dimension too. He develops a persuasive view of the life of the past in such surface phenomena as codes, religious rites and festivals, and canonical texts on the one hand, and in the Freudian psychodrama of repressing and resurrecting the past on the other. Whereas the current fad for oral history inevitably focuses on the actual memories of the last century or so, Assmann presents a commanding view of culture extending over five thousand years. He focuses on cultural memory from the Egyptians, Babylonians, and the Osage Indians down to recent controversies about memorializing the Holocaust in Germany and the role of memory in the current disputes between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East and between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804745239
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2005
Series:
Cultural Memory in the Present Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : what is "cultural memory"?1
1Invisible religion and cultural memory31
2Monotheism, memory, and trauma : reflections on Freud's book on Moses46
3Five stages on the road to the canon : tradition and written culture in ancient Israel and early Judaism63
4Remembering in order to belong : writing, memory, and identity81
5Cultural texts suspended between writing and speech101
6Text and ritual : the meaning of the media for the history of religion122
7Officium Memoriae : ritual as the medium of thought139
8A life in quotation : Thomas Mann and the phenomenology of cultural memory155
9Egypt in western memory178

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