By William Robertson Smith
William Robertson Smith (1846-1894) battle ein schottischer Theologe der loose Church of Scotland und Professor für Altes testomony. Er conflict ein Exponent des kirchlichen Liberalismus und warfare mit James George Frazer (1854–1941) befreundet. Seit 1881 conflict er Professor für Arabisch an der college of Cambridge. Als Robertson Smith’ bekanntestes Werk gilt die Veröffentlichung seiner Vorlesungen über "Die faith der Semiten" - ein Klassiker der vergleichenden Religionswissenschaft. Aus ethnologischem Interesse reiste Robertson Smith dann 1878 und 1879 einige Monate nach Ägypten, Syrien und Palästina. Daraufhin veröffentlichte er im Jahr 1880 einen Aufsatz "Animal Worship and Animal Tribes one of the Arabs and within the outdated Testament". In diesem Aufsatz legte er dar, dass die biblischen Stämme Totems besessen hätten. Des Weiteren sah er in den biblischen Stämmen Exogamie und Polyandrie verbreitet und schloss damit, dass Israel es nicht geschafft habe, sich über das niedrigste Heidentum zu erheben. Am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts erfuhr William Robertson Smith’ Werk ein gesteigertes Interesse, da Robertson Smith’ Ansatz, aus dem Studium der historischen Bedingungen von Schriftreligionen das Verstehen elementarer Gesellschaftsstrukturen herzuleiten, zunehmend Akzeptanz fand. (Wiki) Nachdruck der Originalauflage von 1899.
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Additional info for Die Religion der Semiten
In other words, we are dealing here with a semiotics of motivation with signs that are either heteromateric or homomateric, oscillating between recognition and ostension—perhaps, with an historic-intellectual preference toward the latter. e. authentic copies, of the Buddha (in accordance with widespread tales on the origin of the first image of the Buddha) and, further, examples and samples of absolute reality to be grasped after the attainment of enlightenment. Whereas early representations of the Buddha are based on the principle of metonymy, as we have seen, anthropomorphic Buddhist images can be defined, in semiotic terms, as doubles, copies, samples, or examples.
His numerous accomplishments have become the source of countless legends about his life, and for many centuries Kūkai, commonly known with his posthumous honorific name of Kōbō Daishi (“the great master who has spread widely the Buddhist teachings”), has been the most venerated saint in Japanese Buddhism. A large part of his philosophical and religious production is animated by semiotic concerns, and focuses especially on the nature and functioning of the absolute language of mantras. Kūkai was actually the first Japanese thinker to explicitly outline the fundamentals 8 A BUDDHIST THEORY OF SEMIOTICS of Esoteric Buddhist semiotics.
Seeds articulate reality either through words or by indices: in the first case, their activity is called “expressing meaning” (hyōgi), a clear reference to a distinction between signifier (the expression) and signified (its meaning); in the second case, their activity is called “expressing an object” (kenkyō) without the use of words. A gradual reduction of seed production results in the decrease of semiotic activity and in the purification of ālaya vijñāna and the mind apparatus as a whole. By dismantling the symbolic realm, the imaginary realm also gradually disappears and the Real (Suchness) begins to surface to consciousness.