Notes from the Underground
AbstractThe relationships, both historical and modern, between indigenous spiritual practices and emerging religions with a base of support among the ruling elite has been a fertile ground for study during the last several centuries. While the origins of established religions are normally revealed through the analysis of their surviving texts, the study of native religiosity relies on information derived from folkloric and ethnographic research. All three of these methodologies have become far more powerful and reliable tools than they were even half a century ago, and today’s more critical attitudes toward texts, along with more carefully nuanced interpretations of folkloric and ethnographic material, often produce results which may be surprising, but are always instructive
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