Images from Medieval, Renaissance, Early Modern, and Contemporary Esoteric Traditions.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Versluis vs. Hanegraaff (not sure he understands emic vs. etic here)
Still, one has to wonder about the implications of the sharp
division he makes between a “religionist” perspective and an
“empiricist” one. Let us consider, for a moment, the example of an
alchemical treatise. It may well be that this treatise includes arcane
allusions to alchemical work that only a practicing alchemist would
recognize and understand. We could envision an etic approach to this
treatise that completely fails to recognize what the treatise conveys on
alchemical discipline, whereas an emic approach might very well be the
only one that could get at what the alchemical work is actually about.
In this case, as in a number of others I might also cite, a sympathetic
empiricist perspective may well be indispensable for understanding the
work one is investigating. And this, in fact, is the methodological
approach that I am advocating here. Methods in the Study of Western Esotericism