Friday, 26 August 2016
Cultural and Sacred Texts
Religion and Cultural Memory (tr. Rodney Livingstone),
Jan Assmann, Stanford University Press, 2006, page 109
Assmann comments that, 'in many instances we are confronted with sacred rather than cultural texts.' What is the difference between these two?
Text and ritual stand in inverse relation to each other in sacred and cultural texts. With the sacred text the ritual is the essential part and the discourse during the sacred ceremony is only part of the whole. In the cultural text, in contrast, what counts is the reproduction of the text and the ritual framework merely provides a framework for it.
In our next quote, Assmann will explain how 'the embedding of text and action is different in the two cases.'