Description : Strenski argues that public discourse about religious notions, like sacrifice, cannot be theological in our modern societies. Theological notions of sacrifice and theological approaches to it should be replaced by those like that developed by the Durkheimians because theological discourse cannot but help being religiously biased.
Description : The work of the French American theorist René Girard (b.1923) has been highly influential in a wide variety of intellectual disciplines. One enthusiastic reviewer in Le Monde suggested that the year 1972 (when La Violence et le Sacré was published) should be marked with an asterisk in the annals of the humanities, including literature, theology and religious studies. There is a paradox here insofar as Girard is, strictly speaking, neither a philosopher nor a theologian. He was trained as a historian, but spent most of his academic career as a teacher of French literature. It is out of his study of great European literature (notably Proust, Dostoyevsky and Shakespeare) that what he calls 'mimetic theory' evolved. Mimetic theory is an account of how religion, culture and violence are interrelated. Its three principal parts consist of: an assertion of the 'mimetic' (i.e. imitated or derivative nature of desire); the function of 'scapegoating' as a means of achieving and maintaining social cohesion; the gospel revelation as the means by which these truths of the human condition are made known to us. A general introduction to his work will comprise an exposition of these three parts or phases in Girard's thinking. In Girard and Theology, Michael Kirwan looks at these ideas and their relevance to theology as well as their reception in the development of 'dramatic theology' and new theological concepts of atonement and sacrifice.
Description : This history-based introduction to the study of religion introduces the main methods, theories and theorists in the field. Introduces the main methods, theories and theorists in the field. Engages with leading figures from the history of anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy and theology who have influenced the study of religion. Reveals how the study of religion evolved in response to great cultural conflicts and major historical events. Also considers the influence of inner experience, tacking issues such as human survival and wish-fulfilment.
Description : A Communion of Subjects is the first comparative and interdisciplinary study of the conceptualization of animals in world religions. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including Thomas Berry (cultural history), Wendy Doniger (study of myth), Elizabeth Lawrence (veterinary medicine, ritual studies), Marc Bekoff (cognitive ethology), Marc Hauser (behavioral science), Steven Wise (animals and law), Peter Singer (animals and ethics), and Jane Goodall (primatology) consider how major religious traditions have incorporated animals into their belief systems, myths, rituals, and art. Their findings offer profound insights into humans' relationships with animals and a deeper understanding of the social and ecological web in which we all live. Contributors examine Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, African religions, traditions from ancient Egypt and early China, and Native American, indigenous Tibetan, and Australian Aboriginal traditions, among others. They explore issues such as animal consciousness, suffering, sacrifice, and stewardship in innovative methodological ways. They also address contemporary challenges relating to law, biotechnology, social justice, and the environment. By grappling with the nature and ideological features of various religious views, the contributors cast religious teachings and practices in a new light. They reveal how we either intentionally or inadvertently marginalize "others," whether they are human or otherwise, reflecting on the ways in which we assign value to living beings. Though it is an ancient concern, the topic of "Religion and Animals" has yet to be systematically studied by modern scholars. This groundbreaking collection takes the first steps toward a meaningful analysis.
Description : Why Politics Can't be Freed From Religion is an original,erudite, and timely new book from Ivan Strenski. Itinterrogates thecentral ideas and contexts behind religion, politics, and power,proposing an alternative way in which we should think about theseissues in the twenty-first century. A timely and highly original contribution to debates aboutreligion, politics and power – and how historic and socialinfluences have prejudiced our understanding of these concepts Proposes a new theoretical framework to think about what theseideas and institutions mean in today&'s society Applies this new perspective to a variety of real-world issues,including insights into suicide bombers in the Middle East Includes radical critiques of the religious and politicalperspectives of thinkers such as Talal Asad and MichelFoucault Dislodges our conventional thinking about politics andreligion, and in doing so, helps make sense of the complexities ofour twenty-first century world
Description : This book explores the character of the Eucharist as communion inand through sacrifice. It will stimulate discussion because of itscontroversial critique of the dominant paradigm for Eucharistictheology, its reclamation of St Thomas Aquinas’s theology ofthe Eucharist, and its response to Pope John Paul II’sEcclesia de Eucharistia. Argues that the Eucharist cannot be separated from sacrifice,and rediscovers the biblical connections between sacrifice andcommunion. Timed to coincide with the Year of the Eucharist, proclaimed byPope John Paul II. Reclaims the riches of St Thomas Aquinas’s theology ofthe Eucharist, which had recently been reduced to a metaphysicaldefence of transubstantiation.
Description : The volume consists of collected papers from Taubes Minerva Center for Religious Anthropology conferences examining (1) the role of sacrifice in religious experience from a comparative perspective and (2) alternatives to sacrifice.
Description : This volume provides a thorough introduction to the major classic and modern writings dealing with religious sacrifice. Collected here are twenty five influential selections, each with a brief introduction addressing the overall framework and assumptions of its author. As they present different theories and examples of sacrifice, these selections also discuss important concepts in religious studies such as the origin of religion, totemism, magic, symbolism, violence, structuralism and ritual performance. Students of comparative religion, ritual studies, the history of religions, the anthropology of religion and theories of religion will particularly value the historical organization and thematic analyses presented in this collection.