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Week 8: TimeGeertz, Clifford. The Interpretation of Cultures, 'Person, Time, and Conduct' pg 412 - 453, New York: Basic Books,


Pg 360- THE SOCIAL NATURE OF THOUGHT 'human thought is consummately social: social in its origins, social in its functions, social in its forms, social in its applications' 'an examination of the cultural apparatus in terms of which the people of Bali define, perceive and react to
- that is, think about - individual persons.' Pg 361 'connections between the way in which a people perceive themselves and others, the way in which they experience time, and the affective tone of their collective life.' 'if the scientific study of culture has lagged, bogged down most often in mere descriptivism, it has been in large part because its very subject matter is elusive.' 'the conception of thinking as basically a social act, taking place in the same public world in which other social acts occur' 'the view that thought does not consist of mysterious processes located in what Gilbert Ryle has called a secret grotto in the head, but of a traffic in significant symbols' 'it is through culture patterns, ordered clusters of significant symbols, that man makes sense of the events through which he lives.'--

'the study of culture, the accumulated totality of such patterns, is thus the stuy of the machinery individuals and groups of individuals employ to orient themselves in a world otherwise opaque.' Patterns emerge among different societies because 'the orientational requirements they serve are generically human.' 'the problems, being existential, are universal; their solutions, being human, are diverse.' 'the characterization of individual human beings', 'the everyday world... is populated not by anybodies, faceless men without qualities, but by somebodies, concrete classes of determinate persons positively characterized and appropriately labelled.' Symbol systems are 'historically constructed, socially maintained, and individuals applied.' Pg 365 ''consociates' are individuals ...who encounter one another somweher in the course of daily life. They thus share, however briefly/superficially not only a community of time but also of space.' 'contemporaries are persons who share a community of time but not of space: they live at the same period of history.. but they do not meet.' Predecessors and successors - cannot interact as do not share community of time Categories (consociates, contemporaries, predecessors and successors) are best seen as 'indicating certain general and not altogether distinct, matter-of-fact relationships which


individuals conceive to obtain between themselves and others.' 'these relationships are not perceived purely as such; they are grasped only through the agency of cultural formulations of them.' o 'and, being culturally formulated, their precise character differs from society to society as the inventory of available culture patterns differs.' BALINESE ORDERS OF PERSON-DEFINITION Pg 368, 'in Bali, there are 6 sorts of labels which one person can apply to another in order to indentify him as a unique individual.' 1) personal names, 2) birth order names, 3) kinship terms, 4) teknonyms, 5) status titles, 6) public titles. They are 'symbolic orders of person-definition' Pg370, personal names rarely used, syllable nonsense, names never used as connections to ancestors/heroic figures, no nicknames 'One's name is what remains to one when all the other social much more salient cultural labels attached to one's person are removed.' 'as the virtually religious avoidance of its direct use indicates, a personal name is an intensely private matter.' Birth order names, 'the most common system is to use Wayan for the 1st child, Njoman for the 2nd, Made for the 3rd', 'birth order names are the most frequently used...for children' 'the Balinese system of kinship terminology defines individuals in a primarily taxonomic, not a face-toface idiom, as occupants of regions in a social field, not partners in social interaction.'-'Balinese kinship terminology thus not only divides human beings into generational layers with respect to a given actor, it bends these layers into a continuous surface which joins the 'lowest' with the 'highest'.' 'what at first glance seems a very diachronic formulation, stressing the ceaseless progression of generations is, in fact an assertion of the essential unreality of such a progression.' 'when one looks at is as a common-sense taxonomy of the possible types of familial relationships human beings may have, a classification of kinsmen into natural groups, it is clear that what the bands on the cylinder are used to represent is the genealogical order of seniority among living people and nothing more.'


'there are many ways in which men are made aware of the passage of time' o 'by marking the changing of the seasons, the alterations of the moon, or the progress of plant life' One of the most important= 'recognition of the process of biological aging' 'how one views this process affects how one experiences time' 'The Balinese blunt 3 of the most important sources of a sense of temporality:' o 'the apprehension of one's comrades as perpetually perishing'

'the awareness of the heaviness with which the completed lives of the dead weigh upon the uncompleted lives of the living' o 'the appreciation of the potential impact upon the unborn of actions just now being undertaken' 'in minimizing, culturally, all 3 of these experiences...
o 'that of the evanescing present consociate intimacy evokes' o 'that of the determing past contemplation of predecessors evokes' o 'and that of the moldable future anticipation of successors evokes' 'in favour of the sense of pure simultaneity generated by the anonymised encounter of sheer contemporaries' the Balinese detemporalize their conception of time.' o---


'The Balinese calendar cuts time up into bonded units not in order to count and total them but to describe and characterize them, to formulate their differential social, intellectual and religious significance.' 2 calendars used by Balinese = a lunar-solar one and a permutational one. Pg392, 'the permutational calendar is by far the most important. It consists of 10 different cycles of day-names'-

'the interaction of these 3 main cycles - the 5, 6, 7 - means that a given trinomially designated day will appear once in every 210 days.' o 'interactions between the 5 and 7 name cycles produce binomially designated days which turn up every 35 days' etc. 'the conjunctions that these periodicities define are considered not only to be socially significant but to reflect, in one fashion or another, the very structure of reality.' Outcome= 'view of time as consisting of ordered sets of 30, 35, 42 or 210 quantum units ('days'), each of which units has a particular qualitative significance of some sort indexed by its trinomial or binomial name' This sort of calendar 'is not used to measure the rate at which time passes, the amount which has passed since the occurrence of some event, or the amount which remains within which to complete some project' o Used for 'distinguishing and classifying discrete, self-subsistent particles of time - 'days'.' o Cycles 'do not tell you what time it is; they tell you what kind of time it is.' Pg394 'the uses of the permutational calendar extend to virtually all aspects of Balinese life' o Determines all the holidays and temple celebration Swellengrebel estimated 20,000 temples in Bali, each of these temples (family temples, descent-

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