Ritual Sacrifice: Blood and Redemption

Ritual Sacrifice: Blood and Redemption

by Brenda Ralph Lewis
     
 

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The principle of sacrifice is as old as human life itself. Human, animal or inanimate offerings were an essential part of an effort to handle natural disasters, secure good luck or good health, ensure success in war or commerce, in fact to produce any outcome that could better life on Earth. This fascinating book provides the first general, fully illustrated overview… See more details below

Overview

The principle of sacrifice is as old as human life itself. Human, animal or inanimate offerings were an essential part of an effort to handle natural disasters, secure good luck or good health, ensure success in war or commerce, in fact to produce any outcome that could better life on Earth. This fascinating book provides the first general, fully illustrated overview of sacrificial practices around the world from prehistoric times to the present day.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Although many might dismiss ritual sacrifice as cruel, Lewis—a seasoned journalist and historian who is a specialist on the Aztecs—reveals it as a highly complex activity, one deeply entrenched even in the rituals of contemporary Christianity, and alive and well in the recent rise of neopaganism in the West. In fact, Lewis goes so far as to frame sacrifice as "the final step in the intellectual separation of humans from animals"—a claim that may give some readers pause. Peppered with vivid photographs and a full-color insert of images, from altars to funeral pyres, Lewis shows readers why, for many civilizations both ancient and recent, even the most extreme blood sacrifices were deemed essential not only to general survival but for preventing such atrocities as the end of the world. Her study canvases civilizations on six continents and assesses questions like why those chosen for human sacrifice embraced their fate so willingly. Lewis endeavors to hold her subject at arm's length so as not to disrupt this history with personal bias—though occasionally her partiality for science's superiority over religion is evident. Luckily, this does not disrupt her overall presentation of a topic that readers may be tempted to view with a misplaced, morbid fascination. (Mar.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780750945004
Publisher:
Sutton Publishing
Publication date:
02/25/2007
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.60(d)

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