Good and Evil, Order and Chaos

Jerrold E. Levy

in In the Beginning

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780520211285
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920576 | DOI:
Good and Evil, Order and Chaos

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This chapter takes up the relationship between notions of order and chaos and good and evil. It is here that the two Navajo traditions diverge the most. The Pueblo-like Blessingway tradition tends to be dualistic, opposing good and order to evil and chaos. In this, it is more similar to Christianity than to modern secular thought. The Coyote-Begochidi tradition is more monistic and similar to contemporary science and psychology. Unpredictability is not totally random, and humankind is neither completely good nor entirely evil. Moreover, evil is not as inclusive as it is for Christians and Jews, because untoward events of the natural world are part of the unpredictable natural world and not of themselves evil. Evil is confined to malevolent human acts.

Keywords: order; chaos; good and evil; Blessingway; Christianity; Coyote-Begochidi

Chapter.  7513 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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