Death, War, and Sacrifice: Studies in Ideology & Practice

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 27, 1991 - Religion - 289 pages
One of the world's leading specialists in Indo-European
religion and society, Bruce Lincoln expresses in these essays
his severe doubts about the existence of a much-hypothesized
prototypical Indo-European religion.

Written over fifteen years, the essays—six of them
previously unpublished—fall into three parts. Part I deals
with matters "Indo-European" in a relatively unproblematized
way, exploring a set of haunting images that recur in
descriptions of the Otherworld from many cultures. While
Lincoln later rejects this methodology, these chapters remain
the best available source of data for the topics they
address.

In Part II, Lincoln takes the data for each essay from a
single culture area and shifts from the topic of dying to
that of killing. Of particular interest are the chapters
connecting sacrifice to physiology, a master discourse of
antiquity that brought the cosmos, the human body, and human
society into an ideologically charged correlation.

Part III presents Lincoln's most controversial case
against a hypothetical Indo-European protoculture.
Reconsidering the work of the prominent Indo-Europeanist
Georges Dumézil, Lincoln argues that Dumézil's writings
were informed and inflected by covert political concerns
characteristic of French fascism. This collection is an
invaluable resource for students of myth, ritual, ancient
societies, anthropology, and the history of religions.

Bruce Lincoln is professor of humanities and religious
studies at the University of Minnesota.
 

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Death, war, and sacrifice: studies in ideology and practice

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This is a fascinating collection of scholarly essays on Indo-European religions and mythologies by a leading specialist in the field. While focusing on beliefs about death and dying, and on practices ... Read full review

Contents

An Introduction
1
Death and Funerary Geography in IndoEuropean Myth
21
On the Imagery of Paradise
23
The Lord of the Dead
32
Waters of Memory Waters of Forgetfulness
49
The Ferryman of the Dead
62
Mithras as Sun and Savior
76
The Hellhound
96
Sacrificial Ideology and IndoEuropean Society
167
The Druids and Human Sacrifice
176
On the Scythian Royal Burials
188
Some Sacrificial Practices of the Scyths and Amazons
198
Physiological Speculation and Social Patterning in a Pahlavi Text
209
Embryological Speculation and Gender Politics in a Pahlavi Text
219
Polemic Pieces
229
Shaping the Past and the Future
231

The House of Clay
107
The Two Paths
119
War Sacrifice and the Science of the Body
129
Wolfish Rage
131
An Overview
138
A Response to Mary Boyce
147
Kings Rebels and the Left Hand
244
An Obscure Text of Georges Dumezil Its Context and Subtext
259
Acknowledgments
269
Indexes
271
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Bruce Lincoln is professor of humanities and religious studies at the University of Minnesota.


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