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Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, René Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation
Title:Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, René Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation
Format Type:eBook PDF / e-Pub
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ISBN:0804715181
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Number of Pages:292
Category:Religion, Philosophy
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Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture, Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions, Structure & History in Greek Mythology & Ritual (Sather Classical Lecture), Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth, Ancient Mystery Cults, Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, Ren Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation, Greek Religion, The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age, Savage Energies: Lessons of Myth and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism
Sacrifice ranging from the sacrifice of virgins to circumcision to giving up what is most valued is essential to all religions Could there be a natural even biological reason for these practices Something that might explain why religions of so many different cultures share so many rituals and concepts In this extraordinary book one of the world s leading authorities on ancient religions explores the possibility of natural religion a religious sense and practice naturally proceeding from biological imperatives br br Because they lack later refinements the earliest religions from the Near East Israel Greece and Rome may tell us a great deal about the basic properties and dynamics of religion and it is to these cultures that Walter Burkert looks for answers His book takes us on an intellectual adventure that begins some years ago and plunges us into a fascinating world of divine signs and omens offerings and sacrifices rituals and beliefs unmitigated by modern science and sophistication Tracing parallels between animal behavior and human religious activity Burkert suggests natural foundations for sacrifices and rituals of escape for the concept of guilt and punishment for the practice of gift exchange and the notion of a cosmic hierarchy and for the development of a system of signs for negotiating with an uncertain environment Again and again he returns to the present to remind us that for all our worldliness we are not so far removed from the first i Homo religiosus i br br A breathtaking journey as entertaining as it is provocative i Creation of the Sacred i brings rich new insight on religious thought past and present and raises serious questions about the ultimate reasons for and the ultimate meaning of human religiousness, For the first English edition of his distinguished study i Weisheit und Wissenschaft Studien zu Pythagoras Philoloas und Platon i Mr Burkert has extensively revised both text and notes taking into account additional literature that has appeared since, We often think of classical Greek society as a model of rationality and order Yet as Walter Burkert demonstrates in these influential essays on the history of Greek religion there were archaic savage forces surging beneath the outwardly calm face of classical Greece whose potentially violent and destructive energies Burkert argues were harnessed to constructive ends through the interlinked uses of myth and ritual br br For example in a much cited essay on the Athenian religious festival of the Arrephoria Burkert uncovers deep connections between this strange nocturnal ritual in which two virgin girls carried sacred offerings into a cave and later returned with something given to them there and tribal puberty initiations by linking the festival with the myth of the daughters of Kekrops Other chapters explore the origins of tragedy in blood sacrifice the role of myth in the ritual of the new fire on Lemnos the ties between violence the Athenian courts and the annual purification of the divine image and how failed political propaganda entered the realm of myth at the time of the Persian Wars, No description available