Tuesday, 23 August 2016
What does 'Cultural' mean?
Religion and Cultural Memory (tr. Rodney Livingstone),
Jan Assmann, Stanford University Press, 2006, page 104
Assmann makes some important differences between various text types - cultural, normative and formative - that can exist within the same text or may overlap:
By cultural texts we understand texts that possess a special normative and formative authority for a society as a whole. Normativetexts codify the norms of social behaviour; they include everything from poverbs via wisdom literature down the the Shulkhan Aruch, to the Conduct Books and Knigge. Fomative texts formulate the self0image of the group and the knowledge that secures their identity. They include everything from tribal myths and sagas of origin fown to Homer and Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and Goethe. Formativity and normativity always go together in these texts; only the emphases shift.