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Read online Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions.pdf PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions 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 .

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 .

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 by Walter Burkert

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Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions
Title:Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions
Format Type:eBook PDF / e-Pub
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ISBN:0674175700
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:272
Category:Religion, Non fiction, Science, Philosophy, Biology, History
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Greek Religion, Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth, Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture, Ancient Mystery Cults, Savage Energies: Lessons of Myth and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions, Structure & History in Greek Mythology & Ritual (Sather Classical Lecture), Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, Ren Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation, The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism
Tantalizingly rich this is a splendid book b Greece and Rome b br Burken relegates his learned documentation to the notes and writes in a lively and fluent style The book is recommended as a major contribution to the interpretation of ancient Greek myth and ritual The breadth alone of Burkert s learning renders his book indispensable b Classical Outlook b br Impressive founded on a striking knowledge of the complex evidence literary epigraphical archaeological comparative for this extensive subject Burkert offers a rare combination of exact scholarship with imagination and even humor A brilliant book in which the reader can see at every point what is going on in the author s mind and that is never uninteresting and rarely unimportant b Times Literary Supplement b br Burkert s work is of such magnitude and depth that it may even contribute to that most difficult of tasks defining myth ritual and religion He locates his work in the context of culture and the historv of ideas and he is not hesitant to draw on sociology and biology Consequently his work is of significance for philosophers historians and even theologians as well as for classicists and historians of Greek culture His hypotheses are courageous and his conclusions are bold both establish standards for methodology as well as results b Religious Studies Review b, 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, At the distant beginning of Western civilization according to European tradition Greece stands as an insular isolated near miracle of burgeoning culture This book traverses the ancient world s three great centers of cultural exchange Babylonian Nineveh Egyptian Memphis and Iranian Persepolis to situate classical Greece in its proper historical place at the Western margin of a more comprehensive Near Eastern Aegean cultural community that emerged in the Bronze Age and expanded westward in the first millennium B C br br In concise and inviting fashion Walter Burkert lays out the essential evidence for this ongoing reinterpretation of Greek culture In particular he points to the critical role of the development of writing in the ancient Near East from the achievement of cuneiform in the Bronze Age to the rise of the alphabet after B C From the invention and diffusion of alphabetic writing a series of cultural encounters between Oriental and Greek followed Burkert details how the Assyrian influences of Phoenician and Anatolian intermediaries the emerging fascination with Egypt and the Persian conquests in Ionia make themselves felt in the poetry of Homer and his gods in the mythic foundations of Greek cults and in the first steps toward philosophy A journey through the fluid borderlines of the Near East and Europe with new and shifting perspectives on the cultural exchanges these produced this book offers a clear view of the multicultural field upon which the Greek heritage that formed Western civilization first appeared, Blood sacrifice the ritual slaughter of animals has been basic to religion through history so that it survives in spiritualized form even in Christianity How did this violent phenomenon achieve the status of the sacred This question is examined in Walter Burkert s famous study