Download Beyond Sacred Violence: A Comparative Study of Sacrifice by Kathryn McClymond PDF

By Kathryn McClymond

For plenty of Westerners, the time period sacrifice is linked to old, usually primitive ritual practices. It indicates the loss of life -- usually violent, usually bloody -- of an animal sufferer, often with the purpose of atoning for human guilt. Sacrifice is a significant ritual, culminating in a dramatic occasion. the truth of non secular sacrificial acts around the globe and all through background is, even though, extra expansive and inclusive.In past Sacred Violence, Kathryn McClymond argues that the trendy Western world's reductive figuring out of sacrifice simplifies an significantly wide and dynamic cluster of spiritual actions. Drawing on a comparative examine of Vedic and Jewish sacrificial practices, she demonstrates not just that sacrifice has no unmarried, crucial, picking out attribute but additionally that the weather most often attributed to such acts -- loss of life and violence -- will not be common. McClymond finds that the realm of spiritual sacrifice varies tremendously, together with grain-based choices, important drinks, and intricate interdependent actions. Engagingly argued and written, past Sacred Violence considerably extends our figuring out of non secular sacrifice and serves as a well timed reminder that the sector of spiritual reviews is essentially framed through Christianity. (December 2008)

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By focusing on Vedic and Jewish Re-imagining Sacrifice 29 sacrificial systems and by taking a polythetic approach, the present work is intended to o√er an important corrective, not only for the study of sacrifice but more broadly for the comparative study of religion. The Elements of Sacrifice Several activities occur regularly during sacrificial events, and these basic ‘‘building blocks’’ of activity combine in various ways to generate sacrificial events. I argue that these activities tend to fall into several general types: selection, association, identification, killing, heating, apportionment, and consumption.

In other words, they largely glossed over di√erences and ignored sociohistorical contexts in their quest for universal religious elements. As a means of countering and correcting this universalizing tendency, one response within religious studies has been to give more emphasis to area studies. This approach is tradition- 18 Beyond Sacred Violence specific in nature and in some circles has been presented as the only responsible way to do scholarship. An area studies approach has been celebrated as the disciplinary orientation that respects the individuality and complexity of each religious tradition.

However, at least within the pages of this book, killing does not mean the same thing as destruction or violence. Each of these terms suggests distinctive activities that are often, but not always, related and which must not be conflated. In addition, the term killing is important for our study because of the language frequently interpreted to refer to killing in the Vedic and Jewish texts. When we begin to examine vocabulary specifically referencing killing, we find somewhat surprising results. Sometimes terms explicitly referring to killing do not occur where one might expect them (as in Vedic animal sacrifice).

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