Williams, Jay G. Books
Dr. Jay G. Williams is the Walcott-Bartlett Professor of Religious Studies and former Department Chair at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He also served as Director of Asian Studies. Dr Williams holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York.2011 0-7734-1568-8
This work applies many different approaches to the analysis of sacred texts. The articles contained in this collection are influenced by structuralism, phenomenology, the study of self-referentiality and Zen. In many cases, Eastern thought is applied to Western texts, and vice versa.1995 0-7734-8842-1
The book begins by asking what religious knowledge is and whether it is possible. After offering a general discussion of waht "religious" might mean and locating Western confidence in knowing in the influence of Aristotle, the book soon moves to the question, is any knowledge (i.e. sure and certain verity as opposed to debatable opinion) possible? An examination of claims to knowledge by the physical and social sciences, history, ethics, and theology leads to the conclusion that humans can never claim certainty for any of their opinions. Knowledge always exists within a context and that context always bears the marks of human construction and fallibility. We can never be objective about the universe because we are, in fact, part of it. Therefore our view of the world is always partial and misleading. The word science is a misnomer.2014 0-7734-4239-1
America’s greatest 19th Century Cartoonist, Thomas Nast is the one chiefly responsible for our Christmas vision of a jolly, red-suited, and plump Santa Claus. But more than a playful artist, Jay G. Williams suggests that Nast is an iconographer, building within pictorial images the presence of the sacred as he popularized political and cultural symbols like Lady Columbia. Copiously illustrated, Williams presents Nash’s work in such a way as to bring together politics, religion, and culture in the images themselves. While popularizing these images, Nast also sanctified them. And in the tension between the two realms, Nast’s work lives on.