Charles Ramble

in The Navel of the Demoness

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195154146
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868513 | DOI:

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Te may be culturally conservative, but it is by no means impervious to change. While the mechanisms for dealing with limited change have been discussed in previous chapters, the Conclusion examines the more substantial developments that are likely to come about as a consequence of “radical transcendence.” The resulting disenchantment—to use Weber's term—entails the irrevocable retreat of “sublime values” from a rational and secularised world. Evidence for this process in Te is found by re‐examining its laws and identifying the disappearance of some of the most complex institutions that were seen to be central to its civil religion. However, using analogies from Indo‐European linguistics and the status of transcendence in European religion, it is suggested that the conspicuous phenomenon of disenchantment is constantly balanced by a less visible process of re‐enchantment, and evidence for the latter can be found in the case of Te.

Keywords: conservatism; change; radical transcendence; disenchantment; Weber; secularisation; Indo‐European linguistics; European religion; re‐enchantment

Chapter.  4382 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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