Next talk = 10/21 Michael Meyer, “Image and Self-Image of the Modern Rabbi”
ABSTRACT: One of the most intriguing dynamics across different religious traditions in South Asia is the persistent continuity in the physical form, material, and format of manuscript traditions. With the exception of some late examples, influenced by the Western codex, South Asian manuscripts are usually comprised of very long, thin, and loose folios, originally derived from trees—primarily dried palm or banana tree leaves, but later imitated with regionally-made papers, introduced by Islamic cultures around the tenth century. Each region of South Asia developed its own variations, suited to available materials and regional scripts, each typically evolving through interaction and in symbiosis with different material forms. This presentation explores how genre and religion also helped to shape the development of different forms of texts and different approaches to constructing them. Drawing on results from his recent edited volume, Material Culture in Asian Religions: Text, Image, Object (Routledge 2014), as well as observations from hie work in Bangladesh on the Rāmamālā Library Project, co-sponsored by British Library Endangered Archive Programme and Penn’s Schoenberg Institute for Manuscripts Studies, and his work with Indic manuscripts at Penn, Fleming will explore how different South Asian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and their different articulations of memory, ritual, and aesthetics, helped to shape the development and formation of manuscript traditions in South Asia.
Manuscript title: Psalterium Gallicanum with Cantica
Manuscript summary: The Wolfcoz Psalter – one of St. Gallen’s earliest examples of illuminated initials of the highest quality.
Origin: St. Gallen (Switzerland)
Period: 9th century
Image source: St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 20: Psalterium Gallicanum with Cantica
( www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/csg/0020 )
The Goddess Lakshmi Riding her Owl Vehicle (Vahana)
India or Bengali
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Wait, who dislikes atheists?
By Lisa Wade, PhD
Last month I posted data showing that, of all the things that might disqualify someone for public office, being an atheist is tops. I wrote: “Prejudice against those who say there’s no god is stronger than ageism, homophobia, and sexism.” On average, Americans would rather vote for someone who admitted to smoking pot or had an extramarital affair.
We just don’t like atheists.
But who is “we”?
A survey by the Pew Research Center asked Americans of varying religious affiliations how they felt about each other. atheists were most disliked by Protestants, especially White evangelicals and Black Protestants (somewhat less so White Mainline Protestants). Atheists quite liked themselves, and agnostics thought were they were okay. Among other religiously affiliated groups, Jews gave atheists the highest rating.
For what it’s worth, atheists feel warmish toward Jews in return, preferring them to everyone except Buddhists, and they dislike Evangelical Christians almost as much as the Christians dislike them.