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Book: Tradition

Chapter: Key Thinkers of Tradition

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38405


This chapter will clarify tradition’s relation to temporality through exploring the metaphor of tradition as a gift from the past (or from the divine). It highlights tradition’s conservatism, (i) as it engages those in the present in relations of reciprocity with an idealized (or illusory) version of the past, while at the same time (ii) doing this work by means of misrecognition. That is, the reception of tradition is portrayed as a passive repetition, which ignores tradition’s ongoing invention. This obscures its ideological dimensions and their relation to issues of identity construction. (The main example here will be the Brazilian spirit-possession religion, Candomblé.)

Chapter Contributors

  • Steven Engler ( - sjengler) 'Mount Royal University'