مرکزی صفحہ Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses Reviews of Books / Comptes Rendus: Josiah's Reform and Jeremiah's Scroll: Historical Calamity and...
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Reviews of Books / Comptes Rendus 105 manière de concilier ces deux sentiments. Le cosmopolitisme renvoie à l’attachement profond aux droits de la personne, ce qui ne s’oppose pas au patriotisme. Dans ce cas, la formule est simple : l’État peut, et doit, devenir, à travers ses institutions et les politiques adoptées, le promoteur de l’idéal cosmopolite. L’idéal patriotique, sentiment particulariste par excellence, doit tendre à devenir une partie de l’idéal universaliste des droits de l’être humain. Définir la neutralité de l’État constitue une autre pomme de discorde. Le respect de l’égale liberté de religion et de non-religion signifie-t-il qu’il faille interdire, ou bien autoriser, le port de signes religieux dans l’espace public ? En France, la loi d’interdiction pour les mineurs de porter tout signe religieux « ostentatoire » dans l’espace public a été votée au nom d’une tradition républicaine fort singulière. Pour ce qui est du voile, par exemple, la juridiction britannique adopte des dispositions différentes. Jusqu’à maintenant, la cour suprême du Canada ne penche pas vers la position officielle française, ce qui n’empêche pas la controverse de s’exprimer dans l’espace public. En effet, certains se plaignent que l’on peut tout « faire passer » au nom du multiculturalisme et de la tolérance religieuse. Plus clairement, on distingue deux positions. La première s’acharne à maintenir la religion dans la sphère privée et s’oppose radicalement à sa valorisation publique. La seconde, n’étant pas nécessairement exclusive vis-à-vis de la première, peut être étiquetée comme « intégrationniste », voire « assimilationniste », même si elle ne se reconnaı̂t pas comme telle. L’argument central de cette dernière position consiste à encourager l’adaptation des immigrants aux mœurs et aux coutumes du pays d’accueil et non l’imposition de celles du pays d’origine. Devant ces positions, quelle éthique publique adopter ? Pour Jean-Marc Larouche, ces divergences sont le signe d; ’une transition entre deux époques, deux visions de la cité, car l’identité contemporaine, soit-elle culturelle ou religieuse, doit se former au rythme du « double décentrement du geste reconstructif ». Andre´ Georges Sleiman École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris Josiah’s Reform and Jeremiah’s Scroll: Historical Calamity and Prophetic Response Mark Leuchter Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006. ix þ 206 pp. According to the Foreword, this monograph represents a thorough revision of the author’s 2003 doctoral dissertation, completed for the University of Toronto under the supervision of Brian Peckham. As such it is thoroughly annotated, contains an extensive bibliography, and has two indexes, one of scriptural references and one of authors cited. This book represents a return to the question of the historical Jeremiah, a topic that has been on the scholarly ‘‘back burner’’ lately, especially in the wake of R. P. Carroll’s work. It is an interesting study, comprehensive in scope. And while it demonstrates that there still is an interest in the historical Jeremiah, and historical questions in general, it also demonstrates the uncertainty of these sorts of studies. Downloaded from sir.sagepub.com at Bibliothekssystem der Universitaet Giessen on May 31, 2015 106 Studies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses 39(1) One of the main theses of the book, for example, is that Jeremiah was a royal emissary, appointed by King Josiah to convince the authorities at Shiloh that this Judean king was God’s agent. Indeed, according to Leuchter, Josiah sent Jeremiah to Shiloh on two separate occasions. On the first occasion the prophet went to convince the Shilohites that God had chosen Josiah to reunite the peoples of the northern and southern kingdoms under the terms of the covenant as recorded in the Torah scroll (¼ Deuteronomy) found in the Jerusalem temple. When this failed, the king sent Jeremiah back to condemn them by announcing God’s rather severe punishment. Yet there is no mention anywhere in the biblical text of this rather close relationship between the prophet and the king. Indeed, as many a scholar has commented, it is not even clear if Jeremiah approved of Josiah’s reforms. Indeed, there are some who aren’t convinced that Josiah even engaged in a program of reform. If this were the case, the reason for Jeremiah’s silence becomes all too obvious. Leuchter’s reconstruction also ties Jeremiah’s career directly to the discovery of the Torah scroll in the Jerusalem temple described in 2 Kings 22-23. Indeed, according to Leuchter, the scroll defines his entire career as a prophet. Not only does he become a prophet in the year of the scroll’s discovery, which is significant to Leuchter, it is the basis of his message to the authorities at Shiloh while Josiah was alive, and becomes the basis of his criticism of the kings that assume the Judean throne after Josiah’s death. According to Leuchter, the scroll is so important to Jeremiah that he uses it as a template for the writing of his own book, and in so doing, changes the way prophets and prophecy are perceived. No longer will prophets be judged by their personalities, but by the content of their words! But here too the evidence is less than convincing. While the Torah scroll plays a significant role in 2 Kings 22-23, it is nowhere mentioned in the book of Jeremiah. One might expect a scroll that had the impact Leuchter claims to be mentioned somewhere in the writings of the prophet who was supposed to have defined himself so thoroughly in its terms. And it is not that there was some reason why the story of the scroll’s discovery had to exclude mention of prophets. Indeed, the contrary is the case – the story makes sure to note that the authority of the scroll as God’s word was given prophetic approval. But the prophet who provides the reassurance is named Huldah, not Jeremiah! Leuchter’s argument that Jeremiah based his message on the law scroll is based primarily on the parallels in language between the books of Jeremiah and Deuteronomy. Of course, scholars have long recognized that there are numerous parallels between the language of the book of Jeremiah, especially certain prose sections, and the language of the books of Deuteronomy and Kings, as well as the other writings in the deuteronomic corpus of texts. But there are also significant differences between the two bodies of writings. As Leuchter, and anyone familiar with the study of the book of Jeremiah, is aware, the similarities are normally explained as the result of deuteronomic editors who are thought to have been responsible for much that is contained in the prose sections of the book, as well as the book’s final form. This remains the better solution, it seems to me, because it accounts better for the differences that exist between the language used in the prose and poetic sections of the book of Jeremiah, as well as the consistent use of formulaic language in the deuteronomic corpus and the book of Jeremiah. Downloaded from sir.sagepub.com at Bibliothekssystem der Universitaet Giessen on May 31, 2015 Reviews of Books / Comptes Rendus 107 There are other problematic details with this study, including 1) the proposal that Shiloh was at one time associated with a group of prophetic figures called the zophim, 2) the claim that Jeremiah is the author of the book that bears his name, and 3) Leuchter’s contention that the book of Deuteronomy dates from the time of Hezekiah, to list but a few. But for this reviewer the most problematic aspect of the book is its assumptions. Leuchter accepts that the stories told in the deuteronomic corpus and the book of Jeremiah are historically accurate. This is an unexpected assumption, especially in the light of so much of the recent work that has been done on both the former and latter prophets. In sum, this is an interesting book and a testament to the author’s creativity, but one, I fear, that will not convince many. Michael DeRoche Memorial University Studying Hinduism: Key Concepts and Methods Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, eds. London and New York: Routledge, 2008. xii þ 412 pp. This volume constitutes the most recent of three works co-edited by Canadian-educated Sushil Mittal (BA McGill, MA Carleton, PhD Université de Montréal) and Gene Thursby, following The Hindu World (London and New York: Routledge, 2004) and Religions of South Asia: An Introduction (London and New York: Routledge, 2006). While all three volumes bring together some of the most prominent scholars of Hindu and South Asian religious traditions, Studying Hinduism is unique in that it turns to the theoretical models themselves with which Hinduism has been studied in recent years, and as such represents an important addition to Mittal and Thursby’s two earlier, more survey-oriented Routledge volumes. I will begin my review of this book by recommending that every scholar of Hinduism read it. I do not state this merely as a generic form of praise, but to draw attention to the fact that any teacher or researcher of Hindu traditions, whatever his or her methodological perspective, has much to gain by carefully reading through each of its 28 chapters. This is because the raison d’eˆtre of the volume is to survey current issues and methods of religious studies research by favoring a breadth and diversity of approaches as they are manifest within scholarship on the Hindu tradition. As such, most readers of this book may expect to find in it a remedy for the regrettable (but unavoidable) myopia that naturally results from specialization. Hindu scholars desiring to ease the nagging feeling that they are out of touch with research models other than their own (here I speak from experience) could hardly ask for a better collection of essays. As a whole the volume is intended for a scholarly but non-specialist audience, and most chapters present clear, readable treatments of their respective issues. In many cases, the essays survey classic works of scholarship in the particular domain, and as such the collected bibliographies of the entire volume represent a superb reference resource for multidisciplinary studies in Hinduism. In addition, a 13-page index allows the reader to trace particular themes across the various perspectives. Downloaded from sir.sagepub.com at Bibliothekssystem der Universitaet Giessen on May 31, 2015