11. J. Z. Smith and the Necessary Double-Face (NAASR Panel)

Remembering J.Z. Smith - A Career and its Consequence - Emily D. Crews

Sam Gill [+-]
University of Colorado
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Sam Gill is Professor Emeritus University of Colorado at Boulder. Jonathan Smith was his most important influence and mentor for nearly fifty years. He works on indigenous religions, dancing and religion, religion theory, and religion and technology.


Starting with Jonathan Z. Smith’s Yale dissertation, The Glory Jest and Riddle: James George Frazer and The Golden Bough (1969), Gill argues that comparison is powered by the distinctly human capacity to say that one thing is not the other. This structurality (one of play and joke and riddle) applies not only to comparison, but also to religion, with both comparison and religion having what he characterizes as an abductive quality—that feeling-kind of knowing, often initiated by the surprise of incongruity.

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Gill, Sam. 11. J. Z. Smith and the Necessary Double-Face (NAASR Panel). Remembering J.Z. Smith - A Career and its Consequence. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Oct 2020. ISBN 9781781799697. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=39824. Date accessed: 08 Jul 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.39824. Oct 2020

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