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Creation of the Sacred Tracks of Biology in Early Religions (Paperback)

Author:  Walter Burkert
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Product Details:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0674175700
ISBN-13: 9780674175709
Sku: 30315089
Publish Date: 4/10/2007
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 9.25H x 6L x 0.75T
Pages:  272
See more in Sociology of Religion
 
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.
From the Publisher:
Draws on a wide range of disciplines and examples from many religious traditions to demonstrate how religion is a natural function of Homo sapiens, creating an evolutionary model in which religion derives from biological patterning and behavioral exigencies, reinforced by language.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.
Annotation:
Sacrifice--whether it be the sacrifice of virgins, circumcision, or the renunciation of what is most valued--is essential to all religions. This book explores the possibility of natural religion and raises serious questions about the ultimate reasons for, and the meaning of, human religiousness.

Praise

New York Review of Books
"Meaninglessness is in the long run intolerable: if that is how the world is, people are impelled to pretend otherwise. That is Burkert's central theme, and his treatment of it is immensely impressive. As a study of the various ways in which human beings have, by their religious beliefs, attitudes, and behavior, endowed the world with meaning and imposed order on chaos, 'Creation of the Sacred' is a triumph." - Norman Cohn

Spectator
"...[A] fascinating exploration, based on a lifetime's learning, which might have been dynamite but for the late failure of nerve that lead [Burkert] to opt for a muzzily academic rather than pyrotechnically speculative conclusion." - Andro Linklater 11/16/1996

Product Attributes
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0272
Product attributePublisher:   Harvard University Press
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