Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reaction to Long’s Idea of Culture

I’d like to start off by saying that I agree with Long’s initial definition of culture: “our cultivation of language, actions, habits, gestures, thoughts, etc. for specific purposes is what we mean when we use the term culture” (pg. 3). But where him and I differ is the way he analyzes and applies this definition. It seemed to me that Long had a difficult time disassociating religion with culture. While I do acknowledge that he makes differentiations between the two (and acknowledging the obvious fact that the title is Theology and Culture), I believe they are inadequate. Any culture is of course influenced by religion, but there are many other factors included in this broad concept. For example the very divisive concept of abortion in our culture is not just affected by religious concepts but also by scientific and philosophical concepts as well.

I found his commentary about the hammer, and the lack of knowledge someone would have with just a definition fairly interesting. I think that he is correct that language is influenced by culture (or perhaps vise versa). But more specifically, I think that language is affected by the context in which the language is residing. For example, he refers in the reading to a hammer and the lack of information the definition of the hammer would give you when you are trying to roof a house. I use the word context instead of culture because a person in the United States that is trying to roof a house with a hammer can have the same concept of a hammer as someone across the globe that is roofing a house. I don’t believe that the knowledge they share of the hammer is commonalities in the culture (granted the fact that both of the individuals are using a hammer for roofing might be considered by some to be similarities in culture), but commonalities of the context in which the hammer is being used.

No comments:

Post a Comment