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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Lateral symbolism and Atuot cosmology
Author:Burton, John W.ISNI
Year:1982
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Volume:52
Issue:1
Pages:69-80
Language:English
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:cosmology
Atuot
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1158371
http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:pao:&rft_dat=xri:pao:article:4011-1982-052-00-000005
Abstract:A contextual translation of two Atuot declarations -'God is left' (Decau era cam) and 'life is left' (cam ke ro yen a te yei thin) - suggests that 'leftness' here implies conceptual ignorance rather than classificatory precision. That is to say, when it is asserted that God and life are 'left'. Atuot mean that human beings have no way of knowing their essence. In order to appreciate these statements, related features of Atuot lateral symbolism and cosmology and religious and moral symbolism are discussed in the first three sections of the article. The final section raises the question of whether or not the Atuot image of life and God is in any way related to, or defined by, lateral classification: that is, do these statements define specific characteristics of life and God, or do they implicitly refer to a more basic premiss of Atuot philosophy? In conclusion, an attempt is made to indicate how the 'God is left' metaphor can be taken to explain the other polarities of Atuot symbolic classification. Notes, ref., French sum.
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