Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science
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Aryan Idols by Stefan Arvidsson
Book DescriptionCritically examining the discourse of Indo-European scholarship over the past two hundred years, "Aryan Idols" demonstrates how the interconnected concepts of "Indo-European" and "Aryan" as ethnic categories have been shaped by, and used for, various ideologies. Stefan Arvidsson traces the evolution of the Aryan idea through the nineteenth century - from its roots in Bible-based classifications and William Jones's discovery of commonalities among Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek to its use by scholars in fields such as archaeology, anthropology, folklore, comparative religion, and history. Along the way, Arvidsson maps out the changing ways in which Aryans were imagined and relates such shifts to social, historical, and political processes. Considering the developments of the twentieth century, Arvidsson focuses on the adoption of Indo-European scholarship (or pseudoscholarship) by the Nazis and by Fascist Catholics. A wide-ranging discussion of the intellectual history of the past two centuries, "Aryan Idols" links the pervasive idea of the Indo-European people to major scientific, philosophical, and political developments of the times, while raising important questions about the nature of scholarship as well.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780226028606
(237mm x 185mm x 28mm)
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 15-Sep-2006
Country of Publication: United States
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Author Biography - Stefan Arvidsson
Stefan Arvidsson is assistant professor at the University of Halmstad and a researcher at the University of Lund. Sonia Wichmann received a PhD from the Department of Scandinavian at the University of California, Berkeley.
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