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 Written over fifteen years, the essays—six of them previously unpublished—fall into three parts.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.
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.
In the popular imagination, World War I stands for the horror of all wars. The unprecedented scale of the war and the mechanized weaponry it introduced to battle brought an abrupt end to the romantic idea that soldiers were somehow knights in shining armor who always vanquished their foes and saved the day. Yet the concept of chivalry still played a crucial role in how soldiers saw themselves in the conflict. Here for the first time, Allen J. Frantzen traces these chivalric ideals from the Great War back to their origins in the Middle Ages and shows how they resulted in highly influential models of behavior for men in combat. Drawing on a wide selection of literature and images from the medieval period, along with photographs, memorials, postcards, war posters, and film from both sides of the front, Frantzen shows how such media shaped a chivalric ideal of male sacrifice based on the Passion of Jesus Christ. He demonstrates, for instance, how the wounded body of Christ became the inspiration for heroic male suffering in battle. For some men, the Crucifixion inspired a culture of revenge, one in which Christ's bleeding wounds were venerated as badges of valor and honor. For others, Christ's sacrifice inspired action more in line with his teachings—a daring stay of hands or reason not to visit death upon one's enemies. Lavishly illustrated and eloquently written, Bloody Good will be must reading for anyone interested in World War I and the influence of Christian ideas on modern life.
This collection of papers on the archaeology of conflict covers a wide range in both time and space, running from Sub-Neolithic Finland to early Modern Ireland. The papers include a diverse series of approaches to the study of conflict, using excavation, osteology, artefacts and linguistics.
Sacrifice and Modern War Literature is the first book to explore how writers from the early nineteenth century to the present have addressed the intimacy of sacrifice and war. It has been common for critics to argue that after the First World War many of the cultural and religious values associated with sacrifice have been increasingly rejected by writers and others. However, this volume shows that literature has continued to address how different conceptions of sacrifice have been invoked in times of war to convert losses into gains or ideals. While those conceptions have sometimes been rooted in a secular rationalism that values lost lives in terms of political or national victories, spiritual and religious conceptions of sacrifice are also still in evidence, as with the 'martyrdom operations' of jihadis fighting against the 'war on terror'. Each chapter presents fresh insights into the literature of a particular conflict and the contributions explore major war writers including Wordsworth, Kipling, Ford Madox Ford, and Elizabeth Bowen, as well as lesser known authors such as Dora Sigerson, Richard Aldington, Thomas Kinsella, and Nadeem Aslam. The volume covers multiple genres including novels, poetry (particularly elegy and lyric), memoirs, and some films. The contributions address a rich array of topics related to wartime sacrifice including scapegoating, martyrdom, religious faith, tragedy, heroism, altruism, 'bare life', atonement, and redemption.
The military-industrial complex in the United States has grown exponentially in recent decades, yet the realities of war remain invisible to most Americans. The U.S has created a culture in which sacrificial rhetoric is the norm when dealing in war. This culture has been enabled because popular American Christian understandings of redemption rely so heavily on the sacrificial. 'U.S War-Culture, Sacrifice and Salvation' explores how the concept of Christian redemption has been manipulated to create a mentality of "necessary sacrifice". The study reveals the links between Christian notions of salvation and sacrifice and the aims of the military-industrial complex.
Heroes and Victims explores the cultural power of war memorials in 20th-century Romania through two world wars and a succession of radical political changes -- from attempts to create pluralist democratic political institutions after World War I to shifts toward authoritarian rule in the 1930s, to military dictatorships and Nazi occupation, to communist dictatorships, and finally to pluralist democracies with populist tendencies. Examining the interplay of centrally articulated and locally developed commemorations, Maria Bucur's study engages monumental sites of memory, local funerary markers, rituals, and street names as well as autobiographical writings, novels, oral narratives, and film. This book reveals the ways in which a community's religious, ethnic, economic, regional, and gender traditions shaped local efforts at memorializing its war dead.
The first reference book to deal so fully and incisively with the cultural representations of war in 20th-century English and US literature and film. The volume covers the two World Wars as well as specific conflicts that generated literary and imaginativ