Defining Tradition: On the Meaning and Politics of a “Handy” Concept

Simon J. Bronner

in Explaining Traditions

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780813134062
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813135885 | DOI:
Defining Tradition: On the Meaning and Politics of a “Handy” Concept

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The chapter outlines eight meanings of tradition used by scholars. It suggests that a key to the various meanings of tradition is the rhetorical and historical reference to the hand as instrumental and expressive knowledge. This feature of tradition leads to politicization of the concept because it stands for values held by, and guiding, social life at the grassroots.

Keywords: tradition; politics of culture; Practice theory; Roman law; hand; multiculturalism; millennium

Chapter.  19677 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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