The Languages of Paradise: Race, Religion, and Philology in the Nineteenth Century

The Languages of Paradise: Race, Religion, and Philology in the Nineteenth Century

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674030626
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 09/15/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 228
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Maurice Olender is Maître de Conférences at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Jean-Pierre Vernant
  • Preface

  1. Archives of Paradise
  2. Divine Vowels Richard Simon, Robert Lowth, J. G. Herder
  3. The Cycle of the Chosen Peoples J. G. Herder
  4. The Hebrews and the Sublime, Ernest Renan
  5. The Danger of Ambiguity Friedrich Max Müller
  6. The Monotheism of the Aryas, Adoiphe Pictet
  7. Heavenly Nuptials Rudolph Friedrich Grau
  8. Semites as Aryans Ignaz Goldziher
  9. Secrets of the Forge

  • Notes
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

The Languages of Paradise is heavenly to read. What languages did the first humans speak? Maurice Olender traces the answers of major scholars to that question from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, showing how rival claims for Hebrew and Sanskrit connect with fundamental ideas about race and culture. Rarely have the intricacies of comparative philology been made so accessible to the common reader as in Maurice Olender's fluid prose, given sparkling translation by Arthur Goldhammer.

Natalie Zemon Davis

The Languages of Paradise is heavenly to read. What languages did the first humans speak? Maurice Olender traces the answers of major scholars to that question from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, showing how rival claims for Hebrew and Sanskrit connect with fundamental ideas about race and culture. Rarely have the intricacies of comparative philology been made so accessible to the common reader as in Maurice Olender's fluid prose, given sparkling translation by Arthur Goldhammer.
Natalie Zemon Davis, Princeton University

Anthony Grafton

A riveting book about a difficult but important subject. Olender plunges into the scientific roots of modern racial myths with verve, wit, and remarkable erudition, producing both a dense, powerful monograph in the history of philology and a fascinating essay on the roots of twentieth-century errors and horrors.
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

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