[lit-ideas] Re: The continuation of Realpolitik -- a rant

  • From: "John McCreery" <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 15:05:40 +0900

On Sat, May 24, 2008 at 2:14 PM, David Wright <wright@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

> That's a wonderfully romanto-western view of polytheism.  You must me a
> Yank living abroad.  In (truly) rural Africa or Asia, it is rare to travel
> ten miles without uncovering discontent 'twixt the religions.  Religion is
> just Us versus The Wild, including Them Others.

Be careful who you chide. I do, indeed, live abroad, almost 28 years now in
Japan. I am, in addition, an anthropologist, a China specialist with a Ph.D.
from Cornell, who once wrote a dissertation on the symbolism of Taoist
magic. If you would like to go a bit deeper than the superficialities of
your recent observations, allow me to recommend my chapter on Traditional
Chinese Religion in Ray Scupin, ed., Religion and Culture: An
Anthropological Focus. Pearson Prentice Hall, 2nd Edition, 2008, pages,
pages 303-321.

Of course people quarrel and quibble about their gods, ghosts and ancestors.
"Mine is better than yours" is basic human nature. Still, only a fool
mistakes the local equivalent of a high-school rivalry for a categorical


John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

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