Monthly Archives: July 2010

Halakha and Homosexuality: why language matters

On July 22, a group of Orthodox rabbis put forth a statement of principles on homosexuality; The statement contains an error of language, one which reveals the way in which traditional Jews now talk about homosexuality. Eleven of the statement’s … Continue reading

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Music Has Brought Us Together: Evolutionary Musicology?

Raffi’s last post explored the idea of music as text—a Geertzian participant in its cultural context. The Breslovers yearn for their artistic product to find an integrated role in a cultural tradition. As an amateur musician accustomed to performing works from … Continue reading

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Rebbe Nachman and the Tape Player

Suppose that I spent this Saturday afternoon copying music of the Breslover Chasidim from my dad’s old cassettes onto my computer. I say “suppose that” because by copying the tapes onto my computer, I might have broken the law; the … Continue reading

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The Character of Languages

When I write about China, I assume that nobody knows anything about China. Ask an average well-educated Westerner to name a classic work of Chinese fiction or give the dates for a Chinese dynasty, and more often than not, even … Continue reading

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Reading: it’s all in the family

The last post begins by considering whether Rousseau believes in a legitimate state—political authority—and finishes by questioning whether Dylan believes in legitimate interpretation—textual authority. By examining an old puzzle in Biblical textual criticism, I’ll connect these two problems, suggesting that … Continue reading

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