How do we stand in relation to everything that comes down to us from the past? Is the very idea of tradition still useful in the wake of historical ruptures, such as the Holocaust, changes in the canon, and the end of colonialism? Drawing on a wide range of philosophers and literary theorists, these thirteen essays examine the response and resistance to religious, cultural, and literary tradition by various American, English, German, and African writers. Contributors analyze suspicion of tradition in modernity and present more complex and nuanced accounts of tradition that demonstrate its legitimacy and necessity in the lives of individuals and communities. Tradition emerges from their accounts both as a critique of destructive aspects of modernity and as consistent with some of its central values.
Donald G. Marshall is Fletcher Jones Chair of Great Books at Pepperdine University. With Joel Weinsheimer, he revised the translation of Hans-Georg Gadamer's Truth and Method (1989). He compiled Contemporary Critical Theory: A Selective Bibliography (1993) and has published articles on the theory and history of criticism and rhetoric
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Force of Tradition Chapter 2 Tradition and the Terror of History: Christianity, the Holocaust, and the Jewish Theological Dilemma Chapter 3 Charity Militant: Gadamer, Davidson, and Post-Critical Hermeneutics Chapter 4 "In the Chorus of Others": M. M. Bakhtin's Sense of Tradition Chapter 5 The Role of the Kuhnian Paradigm in Tradition and Originality Chapter 6 Walking vs. Flying: Kierkegaard on Tradition and the Moral Import of Literature Chapter 7 My Own Private New England: Tradition, the Self, and the State in Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World Chapter 8 Holy Fire: Biblical Radicalism in the Narratives of Jarena Lee and Zilpha Elaw Chapter 9 ESTESE and Doblado: Coleridge, Blanco White, and the Church of Rome Chapter 10 Jane Eyre and the Tradition of Self-Assertion; or Bronte's Socialization of Schiller's "Play Aesthetic" Chapter 11 Tradition and Liberation: A Critique of German Cultural Modernity in Heinrich Boell and Hans-Georg Gadamer Chapter 12 Community, Text, and Tradition in The French Lieutenant's Woman Chapter 13 Storytellers and Interpreters in Achebe Chapter 14 Contributors