nah Adams` pioneering harbinger of the scholarly study of religion



nah Adams` pioneering harbinger of the scholarly study of religion
A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations
Hannah Adams and Thomas Tweed
Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1992. xxxvii + 376 p.
Thomas Tweed introduces this photo-reprint of the 1817 fourth edition of Hannah Adams’ pioneering harbinger of the scholarly study of religion. The book surveys the diversity of religion, mostly of historical and contemporary Christian sects
and movements but with significant inclusions of Jewish, Muslim and &dquo;heathen&dquo;
religious groups, so far as information was available to her. While she relies on secondary sources, including other compendia, her particular contribution was the
self-conscious effort to treat all religious groups on the same level and to avoid explicit or implicit judgments. She preferred to use self-descriptions where she had
them. It is this non-normative approach that gives the book its historical value.
Tweed’s introduction discusses Adam’s life and sets her and her book usefully in
their context. He includes a helpful guide to the key entries.
Thomas Graham
University of Winnipeg
Derrida and Negative Theology
Harold Coward and Toby Foshay
Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1992. xii
337 p.
This book extends the modern and postmodern discussion of the disjunction between the ineffable and the intelligible. No-Thing is designated through logocentric, deconstructive interpretations from within selected streams of Western philosophy, Hindu and Buddhist wisdom and 13th-century European mysticism. Among
other things it shows that the text is not all when epistemology and ontology (or
metaphysics) are mutually influential in a religious consciousness of history. This
book effectively demonstrates the limitations of language on what we are always already listening to and inadvertently underscores the importance of unframing the
mind through new ways of listening. Derrida is given the last word to use language
to test the limits of language. He concludes that negative theology is &dquo;literature
for the desert&dquo; where desire is interminably left in suspense, leaving the exile forever
Winnie Tomm
University of Alberta
Histoire du taoïsme des
Isabelle Robinet
Coll. «Patrimoines»
Paris, Cerf, 1991. 381 p.
origines au XIV
Retra~ant les origines du Taoisme depuis le W siecle avant J.-C., 1’auteure nous en
decrit 1’evolution jusqu’au XIVe siecle. Le plan de l’ouvrage, en huit chapitres, «est