Interpreting Together: The Cambridge Ritualists' Affair of the Intellect

Daniel Gold

in Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on Religion

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520236134
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929517 | DOI:
Interpreting Together: The Cambridge Ritualists' Affair of the Intellect

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This chapter investigates the collaboration of Jane Harrison with close academic colleagues in a group known as the Cambridge Ritualists. The scope of their intellectual interplay also included others in classical studies, but the bonds of affection between Harrison, Murray, and Cornford were particularly intense. These affective ties contributed to an intellectual dynamic among the three that differed from those seen in diffusionist collaborations. Their ideas, which entailed bringing anthropological insights to classical texts, were daring and at times even outrageous in the conservative world of their contemporary classical scholarship. What emerged among the three intellectually was a shared interpretive temperament, nurtured together but sustaining separate projects. Since documented examples of intellectual cooperation in the humanities are relatively rare and the Ritualists were interesting personalities, their interrelationship has been given renewed attention in the last decades.

Keywords: Jane Harrison; Cambridge Ritualists; Murray; Cornford; intellectual cooperation

Chapter.  9185 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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