In Dennis Covington’S Book Salvation On Sand Mountain And

2612 WordsMay 8, 201711 Pages
In Dennis Covington’s book Salvation on Sand Mountain and David Haberman’s Journey Through the Twelve Forests: An Encounter with Krishna, we get two very different experiences of researches stepping into a world of different religion and perspectives than their own. While both Haberman and Covington focus on a certain religion and the traditions of its followers, Haberman does a better job with presenting an accurate representation of Hinduism and the Braj pilgrimage. This is because Covington’s book delves too deeply into his personal journey and opinion without explaining any details or history of Christianity and the snake-handling, while Haberman gives the reader history of Hinduism and the significance of the Braj pilgrimage.…show more content…
While both attempt to take an ethnographic approach, Covington’s writing truly does show the journalistic background he came from, since it came off as almost more story-telling than an actual research piece. Haberman, on the other hand, provided the reader with a large amount of background and history on Hinduism, essentially assuming the reader didn’t know anything about Hinduism going into the book. This made it so that while the reader was going on the journey of the pilgrimage with Haberman, they were also getting the informational and historical background of Hinduism and why the pilgrimage was performed, something that Covington cannot grasp so well. This could partly be because Covington assumes his audience is coming from a Christian and Western perspective, meaning a background and history of Christianity isn’t necessary. While Haberman, on the other hand, makes the same assumption, so a history and background of Hinduism would be necessary to accurately tell and portray the whole story. It is more appropriate for researchers to assume that their audience lacks the background knowledge than that they have it, because there could be missed information or unclear points made by the researchers otherwise. When explaining the traditions and beliefs of those in the snake-handling church, Covington presents in the information within the framework of his life and his experiences,

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