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Drawing on a diverse array of ethnographic contexts, Caillois analyzes the role of the forbidden in the social cohesion of the group. He examines the character of the sacred in the light of specific instances of taboos and transgressions, exploring wide differences in attitudes toward diet and sex and extreme behaviors associated with the sacred, such as rapture and paroxysm. He also discusses the festival--an exuberant explosion following a period of strict repression--and compares its functions with those of modern war.
A classic study of one of the most fundamental aspects of human social and spiritual life, Man and the Sacred--presented here in Meyer Barash's superb English translation--is a companion volume to Caillois's Man, Play and Games.
|Preface to the Second Edition||11|
|Ch. I||General Interrelationships of the Sacred and the Profane||19|
|Ch. II||The Ambiguity of the Sacred||33|
|Ch. III||The Sacred as Respect: Theory of Taboo||60|
|Ch. IV||The Sacred as Transgression: Theory of the Festival||97|
|Ch. V||The Sacred: Condition of Life and Gateway to Death||128|
|App. I||Sex and the Sacred: Sexual Purification Rites Among the Thonga||139|
|App. II||Play and the Sacred||152|
|App. III||War and the Sacred||163|