reminds me of Emile

I think when Durkheim wrote his stuff about the "superorganic" nature of culture that he was identifying one of the more troubling aspects of culture that Kathryn Tanner does not talk about in this list--the ability of culture to transend "cultures". In other words, there are things that are shared between eastern and western societies, things that are shared between agriculturalists and hunter/gatherers, things that aren't shared by people that grew up together. So "culture" is a thing, or a no-thing, of unmeasurable integration with any number of people involved in sharing or not sharing it. Creating culture seems fundimental to humans. Jesus was a part of a culture but also transended that culture. So, the question is, is culture a superorganism that is shared by some or all but not fully explored by any? Is it only the things that are being shared by people? Is it limited to the living? Does religion have a culture or is culture religious? Does being a Christian mean transcending a culture or just being a part of a sub-culture or entirely different culture? If no one can define culture but everyone knows what you mean by it, should we worry about codifying it? Or do we let it remain a hazy, abstract concept? Tanner's categories seem pretty good, but there's nothing in there about the extent of "culture" because it's assumed to be where people are--the "totality of beliefs".... Does that mean I can't have a belief that isn't a part of culture? And then the whammy... what if culture is simply "coded for" by our genetics. What then?


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