Chat with us, powered by LiveChat i wil also provide the readings 1- Suggested questions 2- Objectives for writing a reading response 3- Outline of grading criteria You will also find a template of the writing assignment (on the Burk | Abc Paper
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i wil also provide the readings 1- Suggested questions2- Objectives for writing a reading response3- Outline of grading criteriaYou will also find a template of the writing assignment (on the Burkert reading). Please note that this template of the assignment was originally submitted as a working draft. Therefore, this is a good example of what to aim for in your work.  It is not, however, “perfect.”Following this, please find the guidelines for academic writing (MLA and Chicago). These guidelines for academic writing are essential for performing well on this assignment. Do take a close look and please do ask questions along the way.  When in doubt, add your reference and citation!
i wil also provide the readings 1- Suggested questions 2- Objectives for writing a reading response 3- Outline of grading criteria You will also find a template of the writing assignment (on the Burk
RLGN 2060 Religion and Violence Winter 2021 Reading Response One Handout in two parts Part One: Suggested questions Part Two: Guidelines for writing an academic response paper DURKHEIM   1).  What is the difference between ritual and ritualization? Do you think Durkheim makes a clear distinction between the two? 2). It seems that ritual (and practice) as the site of the religious requires some ineffable experience (experience of the ineffable) or, following Durkheim, affect, to be effective and to have particular outcomes. Following these points, why do you think Durkheim brackets out individual experience in his approach to studying ritual?    MAUSS & HUBERT   1).  According to Mauss and Hubert, what takes place after the ‘exit’ from the ritual sacrifice?           BATAILLE   1). How does Bataille define the ‘sacred’?     2). Bataille argues that religious ritual is grounded in economics and modes of production.  Discuss how Bataille presents the development of ritual sacrifice in human societies and explain how the violence of ritual sacrifice can escalate into war in pre-modern and modern societies.     BURKERT   1). Give evidence for or against Burkert’s argument that there is something inherently violent in religion, especially with respect to sacrifice.  Discuss in particular what Burkert (p. 12) states: the “experience of the death brought about by human violence” is somehow connected with another human, especially in terms of the festive meal of those who participate in the sacred aspects of the ritual.      JAY   1). According to Jay, how does sacrificial ritual preserve a community’s identity as well as shape its understanding of descent?   2).  Discuss the following statement from Jay (p. 37): “Sacrifice cannot be infallible evidence of begetting and therefore obviously cannot constitute biological paternity.  It is the social relations of reproduction, not biological reproduction that sacrificial ritual can create and maintain”.      BLOCH   1). Bloch claims that rituals, especially violent rituals, can have a destructive effect in terms of how religious communities understand their social reality (codes of ethics, morality) because of ritual’s stability and the fact it does not change.  Do you agree or disagree with Bloch’s theory?   2). Ordering rituals communicate the “logic of domination” in their societies.  On the basis of the reading, what examples does Bloch provide to support his view on the function of ritual?     Focus on one course reading in your reading response. Goal: Respond critically to an issue that is discussed in this course and which interests you. What a reader response paper is: A critical essay that tells the reader what an academic article/book chapter means to you. It reflects a close reading of the work, contains specific examples drawn from the work (documented parenthetically with page numbers), and provides your well-considered opinion of the work’s strengths and/or shortcomings. The essay demonstrates that you have read the article/book chapter, internalized and contextualized its arguments, and can articulate and substantiate your reactions to it. What a reader response paper is not: A descriptive summary of the reading or of the subject matter(s) it describes. Assume your reader has read the reading too, and has a familiarity with the topic under consideration. A research paper. You may consult additional sources (other studies of the same subject; other critiques of the author) if you like, but you are not required to do so. Use parenthetical documentation rather than footnotes. A classic “thesis” paper, in which you state a thesis argument at the front end and use the course reading to support this thesis, reiterating the argument in the conclusion. The essay must have an organizing argument (see below) but it should be more analytic than descriptive. Its intent goes beyond proving a certain point of fact. An opportunity for general opinionating (“I thought it was really good,” or “I thought it was terrible”) nor an opportunity to make statements of opinion that are not supported by evidence drawn from the text. A test of whether you had the “right” interpretation of the course reading. This is a venue for you to tell us what the course reading means to you. It should display thoughtful evaluation of the text and express of how it may have contributed (or not contributed) to your understanding of a particular aspect of Religion and Violence, and why. Ask yourself the following questions as you prepare to write a reader response paper. You don’t need to include the answers to these questions in your paper, but they can help you organize your thoughts and decide what you’d like to write about in your response. What were the main arguments of the book (hint: historians and scholars often put these in the introduction, the conclusion, or both)? Did the author, in your opinion, do a decent job of following through on those arguments? Why or why not? How is the book “talking” to other parts of the historical literature? Is the author styling him or herself as a particular type of historian (women’s historian, social historian, political historian, etc.)? Who are their subjects? What is their purpose in writing this book? What parts of the reading did you like the most, and why? How does this reading relate to what interests you about our course topic? What did you learn from it? If you didn’t learn much, why was that? What questions did this text leave you with? What would you like to learn more about? What about the author’s style and methodology did you like or dislike? How are they using sources and how does this reflect on the integrity and validity of their arguments? For useful things to keep in mind as you read the course reading, consult “How to Read a Secondary Source” in Prof. Patrick Rael’s Writing Guide (you can link to it from http://www.bowdoin.edu/writing-guides/). Sample format for a reader response paper of 2-3 pages: Introduction/theme: 1 paragraphs that “set the stage” for what will follow. Possible entry points include: a broader trend that interests you in Religious Studies and how this reading’s contents explain it; another book/article (or school of thought) that this reading either supports or refutes; assumptions or opinions you hold that this reading might challenge. Background: 2 paragraphs that introduce the reading, its main arguments and context in which it was written, and place the text in its historiographic context (i.e., how it relates to other literature on the subject). Analysis: use the remainder of the paper to hone in on a certain element of the reading and provide your opinion of it. This, as much as anything, is the “thesis” of this essay. You may choose to focus on the main argument of the reading, or just one element of the book (for example, the author’s treatment of gender, or the author’s conclusions about the durability of third parties, or the author’s style and research methodology). The analysis should contain direct quotes or paraphrased examples from the reading (all cited with page numbers) to support your argument. Conclusion: one paragraph that brings us back to your entering statement and states the wider significance of this work to you, and to the literature. And, as you write, do not forget the basic rules of style and grammar. Please do not think of this assignment as a journal.  Your personal subjective responses and experiences are not the focus of this assignment.  They may only be included if you can critically incorporate them into your analysis of the readings.   Criteria for Evaluation (see grading scale in second part of hand-out): Writing skills: well-written, organized, no spelling mistakes, typos or grammatical errors.  Uses relevant quotations to illustrate your argument and uses appropriate citations. Content: Demonstrate comprehension of the major issues as covered in the course lectures and required readings. Argument: Argument is logical, well-constructed and sustained. Analysis: Demonstrates ability to reflect critically on and analyze the material.       Tips for writing a great reading response:     1.      Prep work: Look at the readings.  What themes, issues, questions connect different readings?  Choose one reading that will allow you to respond in a thoughtful, interesting and original way. 2.      Introduction: Start response with a thesis statement.  This should be your first sentence.  What is the purpose in writing this reading response?  What are you arguing?  What 2-3 points/issues/questions will you discuss?  All of this information should be in your introductory paragraph (1/3 page). 3.      Description: Describe the author’s central argument in the course reading and the points that will be essential to your own thesis statement; this will demonstrate that you understand the material.  If you are aiming for a higher grade (B+ or higher), keep this part of the reading response relatively short so that you can focus more on analysis and developing your own argument. 4.      Analysis and Argument: Critically respond to each point raised in your introduction individually.  Some strategies to consider: identify weaknesses and strengths in an author’s argument.  Identify issues or arguments that were neglected by the author.  Identify biases and determine how they affect the credibility of the author’s claims.  Remember that not all critiques are negative; one can critically identify positive elements as well and this will demonstrate that you understand the material and can think critically about it.  This element of the reading response is necessary for a B grade or higher. 1.      Conclusion: Conclude your argument in a final concluding paragraph.  Restate your thesis statement, highlight the major issues you discussed, and reinforce the claims you have made in your analysis and argument.  Add any additional insights or thoughts that you might have (1/3 page).     Establishing Explicit Grading Criteria   Criteria for Written Assignments Your reading responses and research papers will be graded on the basis of the following criteria: 1. STRUCTURE: Begin your paper with a brief description of the narrative, or a brief episode from it that suggests or illustrates your thesis. Give your thesis statement, which is a concise statement of your central argument. Then build your argument in a series of well-structured paragraphs. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, and 3 to 5 sentences that clearly support that topic sentence. Each paragraph should explain ONE idea, not 3 or 4. Each paragraph should have a clear connection to the ONE idea, not 3 or 4. Pay attention to transitions! Each paragraph should have a clear connection to the next. End with a strong conclusion that explains what your thesis statement tells the reader, for example, about the Civil War.   2. ANALYSIS: Remember that each paragraph should advance your argument. Support your thesis with evidence from your narrative, always remembering to explain what that evidence means. Where necessary, provide context from other course material. Your analysis should offer specific insights into aspects of the reading you have selected for your reading response that our lectures sometimes describe in general terms.   3. STYLE: Clarity comes from knowing what you mean and saying it plainly. Don’t try to write like a writer–write like a person who wants to be understood. I will reward clear, active, powerful writing. PLEASE do not use the passive voice. Do not start sentences with “It is. . .,” “There is. . .” or “There are. . .” Use active verbs. Revise your paper to remove wordiness, redundancy, passive voice, and inactive verbs. Make sure that your grammar and spelling are correct. Careless errors, especially run-ons and comma splices, WILL lower your grade. One example of BAD writing is as follows: “There were changes in southern society during the war that made southerners turn their anti-government beliefs against the south.” An example of BETTER writing is as follows: “Many white southerners interpreted wartime taxation and conscription as the same sort of interference with southern ‘domestic relations’ that the Confederacy founders had promised to prevent.” What’s the difference? In the first sentence, “There were changes” is in the passive voice and offers no specifics. What sort of changes occurred, and in what context? The passive voice allows you to evade these questions, but specificity and context are essential to good history. “Southerners” is too general; the group in question consists of many (but not all) white southerners. “Anti-government beliefs” and “the south” also lacks precision. White southerners tended to resist some forms of political authority, but not others; this dynamic shaped both the Confederate state (which was not the same thing as “the south”) and the emerging opposition to that state’s policies.   4. ORIGINALITY:  Although you can get a good grade (a B) for a paper based on arguments presented in lectures or readings, “A” (and even more so in the case of A+) papers must offer more original insights and arguments. I strongly encourage you to think for yourselves, building on evidence and arguments from the course, but pushing your insights further than what we cover in lectures.    The Superior Paper (A+/A) Structure: Your thesis is clear, insightful, original, sophisticated, even exciting. All ideas in the paper flow logically; your argument is identifiable, reasonable, and sound. You have excellent transitions. Your paragraphs have solid topic sentences, and each sentence clearly relates to that topic sentence. Your conclusion is persuasive.  Analysis: You support every point with at least one example from your selected reading. You integrate quoted material into your sentences well. Your analysis is fresh and exciting, posing new ways to think of the material. Style: Your sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and citations are excellent. You have NO run-on sentences or comma splices. Your writing style is lively, active, and interesting. You use active verbs, and do not use the passive voice. You are not wordy or redundant. You not only sustain an argument throughout your reading response, but you introduce to the reader this argument in a clear and persuasive manner. Originality: Your arguments show a great deal of independent insight and originality.   The Very Good Paper (A/B+) Structure: Your thesis is clear, insightful, and original. Your argument flows logically and is sound. You may have a few unclear transitions. You end with a strong conclusion. Analysis: You give examples to support most points, and you integrate quotations into sentences. Your analysis is clear and logical, and even makes sense. Style: Your sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and citations are good. You have no more than one run-on sentence or comma splice. Your writing style is solid and clear. You use active verbs and do not use the passive voice. You are not wordy or redundant. Originality: Your arguments show independent thought.   The Good Paper (B) Structure: Your thesis is clear, but may not be insightful, original, or easily identified. Your argument is generally clear and appropriate, although it may wander occasionally. You may have a few unclear transitions, or paragraphs without strong topic sentences. You may end without much of a conclusion. Analysis: You give evidence to support most points, but some evidence may appear where inappropriate. Your argument usually makes sense, although some gaps in logic may exist. Style: Your writing style is clear, but not always refined in terms of word choice and stating your argument. You sometimes use the passive voice. You may become wordy or redundant. Your sentence structure, grammar, and spelling are strong despite occasional lapses. Originality: You do a solid job of synthesizing course material but do not develop your own insights or conclusions.   The Borderline Paper (B/C) Structure: Your thesis may be unclear, vague, or unoriginal, and it may provide little structure for the paper. Your paper may wander, with few transitions, few topic sentences, and little logic. Your paragraphs may not be organized coherently. Analysis: You give examples to support some but not all points. Your points often lack supporting evidence, or else you use evidence inappropriately, often because there may be no clear point. Your quotations may be poorly integrated into sentences. You may give a quote, but then fail to analyze it or show how it supports your argument. Your logic may fail, or your argument may be unclear. Your end may dwindle off without a conclusion. Style: Your writing style is not always clear and is problematic in terms of clearly stating your argument and supporting your thesis statement. You use the passive voice, or become wordy or redundant. You have repeated problems in sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, citation style, or spelling. You may have several run-on sentences or comma splices.  Originality: You do a fair job of synthesizing course material but do not develop your own insights or conclusions. In many instances, you are paraphrasing what is in the reading without providing any analysis.   The “Needs Help” Paper (C) Structure: Your thesis is difficult to identify, or it may be a plain restatement of an obvious point. Your structure may be unclear, often because your thesis is weak or non-existent. Your transitions are confusing and unclear. Your paragraphs show little structure. The paper is a loose collection of statements, rather than a cohesive argument. You have relied on summarizing the reading and not departed from the text. Analysis: Your examples are few or weak. You fail to support statements, and the evidence you give is poorly analyzed, poorly integrated into the paper, or simply incorrect. Your argument may be impossible to identify. Ideas may not flow at all, often because there is no argument to support. Style: Your writing style has problems in sentence structure, grammar, and diction. You have frequent major errors in citation style, punctuation, and spelling. You may have many run-on sentences and comma splices. Originality: You do a confusing or poor job synthesizing material presented in the reading, and you do not develop your own insights or conclusions.    The Bad Paper (D or F) No one wants to do badly on an assignment or in a course.  However, a bad paper shows minimal lack of effort or comprehension. The arguments are very difficult to understand owing to major problems with mechanics, structure, and analysis. The paper has no identifiable thesis, or an incompetent thesis.       
i wil also provide the readings 1- Suggested questions 2- Objectives for writing a reading response 3- Outline of grading criteria You will also find a template of the writing assignment (on the Burk
1989 . Theory of Religion Georges Bataille Translated by Robert Hurley ZONE BOOKS’ NEW YORK 39 HUMANITY AND THE PROFANE WORLD THE BASIC DATA Within the limits of continuity, everything is spiritual; there is no opposition of the mind and the body. But the positing of a world of mythical spirits and the supreme value it receives are natural1y linked to the definition of the mortal body as being opposed to the mind. The dif- ference between the mind and the body is by no means the same as that between continuity (immanence) and the object. In the first immanence, no difference is possible before the positing of the manufactured tool. Likewise, with the positing of the subject on the plane of objects (of the subject-object), the mind is not yet distinct from the body. Only starting from the mythical representation of autonomous spirits does the body find itself on the side of things, insofar as it is not present in sovereign spirits. The real world remains as a residuum of the birth of the divine world: real animals and plants separated from their spiritual truth slowly rejoin the empty objectivity of tools; the mortal body is gradually assimilated to the mass of things. Insofar as it is spirit, the human reality is holy, but it is profane insofar as it is real. Animals, plants, tools, and other controllable things form a real world with the bodies that control them, a world subject to and traversed by divine forces, but fallen. The Eaten Animal, the Corpse, and the Thing The definition of the animal as a thing has become a basic human given. The animal has lost its status as man’s fel- low creature, and man, perceiving the animality in him- self, regards it as a defect. There is undoubtedly a measure of falsity in the fact of regarding the animal as a thing. An animal exists for itself and in order to be a thing it must be dead or domesticated. Thus the eaten animal can be posited as an object only provided it is eaten dead. Indeed it is fully a thing only in a roasted, grilled, or boiled form. Moreover, the preparation of meat is not primarily con- nected with a gastronomical pursuit: before that it has to do with the fact that man does not eat anything before he has made an object of it. At least in ordinary circum- , stances, man is an animal that does not have a part in that which he eats. But to kill the animal and alter it as one pleases is not merely to change into a thing that which doubtless was not a thing from the start; it is to define the animal as a thing beforehand. Concerning that which I kill, which I cut up, which I cook, I implicitly affirm that that has never been anything but a thing. To cut up, cook, and eat a man is on the contrary abominable. It does no harm to anyone; in fact it is often unreasonable not to do something with man. Yet the study of anatomy ceased to be scandalous only a short time ago. And despite appear- 38 THE BASIC DATA ances, even hardened materialists are still so religious that in their eyes it is always a crime to make a man into a thing – a roast, a stew. . . . In any case, the human atti- tude toward the body is formidably complex. Insofar as he is spirit, it is man’s misfortune to have the body of an animal and thus to be like a thing, but it is the glory of the human body to be the substratum of a spirit. And the spirit is so closely linked to the body as a thing that the body never ceases to be haunted, is never a thing except virtually, so much so that if death reduces it to the con- dition of a thing, the spirit is more present than ever: the body that has betrayed it reveals it more clearly than when it served it. In a sense the corpse is the most com- plete affirmation of the spirit. What death’s definitive impotence and absence reveals is the very essence of the spirit, just as the scream of the one that is killed is the supreme affirmation of life. Conversely, man’s corpse reveals the complete reduction of the animal body, and therefore the living animal, to thinghood. In theory the body is a strictly subordinate element, which is of no con- sequence for itseJf – a utility of the same nature as canvas, iron, or lumber. 40 HUMANITY AND THE PROFANE WORLD The Worker and the Tool Generally speaking, the world of things is perceived as a fallen world. It entails the alienation of the one who created it. This is the basic principle: to subordinate is not only to alter the subordinated element but to be altered oneself. The tool changes nature and man at the same time: it subjugates nature to man, who makes and uses it, but it ties man to subjugated nature. Nature becomes man’s property but it ceases to be immanent to him. It is his on condition that it is closed to him. If he places the world in his power, this is to the extent that he forgets that he is himself the world: he denies the world but it is himself that he denies. Everything in my power declares that I have compelled that which is equal to me no longer to exist for its ow~ purpose but rather for a purpose that is alien to it. The purpose of a plow is alien to the reality that constitutes it; and with greater reason, the same is true of a grain of wheat or a calf. If I ate the wheat or the calf in an animal way, they would also be diverted from their own purpose, but they would be suddenly destroyed as wheat and as calf. At no time would the wheat and the calf be the thjnBs that they are from the start. The grain of wheat js a unit of agricultural production; the cow is a head of livestock, and the one who cultivates the wheat is a farmer; the one who raises the steer is a stock raiser. Now, during the time when he is cultivating, the farmer’s 41 42 43 THE BASIC DATA purpose is not his own purpose, and during the time when he is tending the stock, the purpose of the stock raiser is not his own purpose. The agricultural product and the livestock are things, and the farmer or the stock raiser, during the time they are working, are also things. All this is foreign to the immanent immensity, where there are neither separations nor limits. In the degree that he is the immanent immensity, that he is being, that he is if the world, man is a stranger for himself. The farmer is not a man: he is the plow of the one who eats the bread. At the limit, the act of the eater himself is already agricul- tural labor, to which he furnishes the energy. CHAPTER III Sacrifice, the Festival, and the P r i n c i pie s of the Sac red W 0 rid ” The Need That Is Met by Sacrifice and Its Principle The first fruits of the harvest or a head of livestock are sacrificed in order to remove the plant and the animal, to- gether with the farmer and the stock raiser, from the world of things. The principle of sacrifice is destruction,’but though it sometimes goes so far as to destroy completely (as in a holocaust), the destruction that sacrifice is intended to bring about is not annihilation. The thing – only the thing – is what sacrifice means to destroy in the victim. Sac- rifice destroys an object’s real ties of subordination; it draws the victim out of the world of utility and restores it to that of unintelligible caprice. When the offered ani- mal enters the circle in which the priest wiJ] immolate it, it passes from the world of things which are closed to 44 45 THE BASIC DATA SAC R I F ICE. THE FE S T I V A L. THE SAC RED ,W 0 R L D man and are nothing to him, which he knows from the outside – to the world that is immanent to it, intimate, known as the wife is known in sexual consumption (con- sumation charnelle). This assumes that it has ceased to be separated from its own intimacy, as it is in the subordi- nation of labor. The sacrificer’s prior separation from the world of things is necessary for the return to intimacy, of immanence between man and the world, between the subject and the object. The sacrificer needs the sacrifice in order to separate himself from the world of things and the victim could not be separated from it in turn if the sacrificer was not already separated in advance. The sac-I rificer declares: “Intimately, I belong to the sovereign world of the gods and myths, to the world of violent and uncalculated generosity, just as my wife belongs to my desires. I withdraw you, victim, from the world in which you were and could only be reduced to the condition of a thing, having a meaning that was foreign to your inti- mate nature. I call you back to the intimacy of the divine world, of the profound immanence of all that is.” that world of things on which distinct reality is founded. It could not destroy the animal as a thing without denying the animal’s objective reality. This is what gives the world of sacrifice an appearance of puerile gratuitousness. But one cannot at the same time destroy the values that found reality and accept their limits. The return to immanent intimacy implies a beclouded consciousness: conscious- ness is tied to the positing of objects as such, grasped directly, apart from a vague perception, beyond the always unreal images of a thinking based on participation. The Unreality of the Divine World Of course this is a monologue and the victim can neither understand nor reply. Sacrifice essentially turns its back on real relations. If it took them into account, it would go against its own nature, which is precisely the opposite of The Ordinary Association of Death and. Sacrifice The puerile unconsciousness of sacrifice even goes so far that killing appears as a way of redressing the wrong don~ to the animal, miserably reduced to the condition of a thing. As a matter of fact, killing in the litera] sense is not necessary. But the greatest negation of the real order is the one most favorable to the appearance of the mythical order. Moreover, sacrificial killing resolves the painful antinomy of life and death by means of a reversal. In fact death is nothing in immanence, but because it is nothing, a being is never truly separated from it. Because death has no meaning, because there is no difference between it and life, and there is no fear of it or defense against it, it invades everything without giving rise to any resistance. 46 47 THE BASIC DATA SACRIFICE THE FESTIVAL THE SACRED WORLD Duration ceases to have any value, or it is there only in order to produce the morbid delectation of anguish. On the contrary, the objective and in a sense transcendent (relative to the subject) positing of the world of things has duration as its foundation: no thina in fact has a separate existence, has a meaning, unless a subsequent time is posited, in view of which it is constituted as an object. The object is defined as an operative power only if its duration is implicitly understood. If it is destroyed as food or fuel is, the eater or the manufactured object preserves its value in duration; it has a lasting purpose like coal or bread. Future time constitutes this real world to such a degree that death no longer has a place in it. But it is for this very reason that death means everything to it. The weakness (the contradiction) of the world of things is that it imparts an unreal character to death even though man’s membership in this world is tied to the positing of the body as a thing insofar as it is mortal. As a matter of fact, that is a superficial view. What has no place in the world of things, what is unreal in the real world is not exactly death. Death actually discloses the imposture of reality, not only in that the absence of dura- tion gives the lie to it, but above alJ because death is the great affirmer, the wonder-struck cry of life. The real order does not so much reject the negation of life that is death as it rejects the affirmation of intimate life, whose .’ measureless violence is a danger to the stability of things, an affirmation that is fulJy revealed only in death. The real order must annul – neutralize – that intimate life and replace it with the thing that the individual is in the society of labor. But it cannot prevent life’s disappearance in death from revealing the invisible brilJiance of life that is not a thina The power of death signifies that this real world can only have a neutral image of life, that life’s intimacy does not reveal its dazzling consumption until the moment it gives out. No one knew it was there when it was; it was overlooked in favor of real things: death was one real thing among others. But death suddenly shows that the real society was lying. Then it is not the loss of the thing, of the useful member, that is taken into consid- eration. What the real society has lost is not a member but rather its truth. That intimate life, which had lost the ability to fulJy reach me, which I regarded primarily as a thing, is fulJy restored to my sensibility through its absence. Death revea1s life in its plenitude and dissolves the real order. Henceforth it matters very little that this real order is the need for the duration of that which no longer exists. When an element escapes its demands, what remains is not an entity that suffers bereavement; all at once that entity, the real order, has completely dissipated There is no more q uestion of it and what death brinas in b tears is the useless consumption of the intimate order, 48 49 THE BASIC DATA SACRIFICE. THE FESTIVAL. THE SACRED WORLD It is a naive opinion that links death closely to sorrow. The tears of the living, which respond to its coming, are themselves far from having a meaning opposite to joy. Far from being sorrowful, the tears are the expression of a keen awareness of shared life grasped in its intimacy. It is true that this awareness is never keener than at the moment when absence suddenly replaces presence, as in death or mere separation. And in this case, the con- solation (in the strong sense the word has in the “conso- lations” of the mystics) is in a sense bitterly tied to the fact that it cannot last, but it is precisely the disappear- ance of duration, and of the neutral behaviors associated with it, that uncovers a ground of things that is dazzlingly bright (in other words, it is clear that the need for dura- tion conceals life from us, and that, only in theory, the impossibility of duration frees us). In other cases the tears respond instead to unexpected triumph, to good fortune that makes us exult, but always madly, far beyond the concern for a future time. not to kill but to relinquish and to give. Killing is only the exhibition of a deep meaning. What is important is to pass from a lasting order, in which all consumption of resources is subordinated to the need for duration, to the violence of an unconditional consumption; what is impor- tant is to leave a world of real things, whose reality derives from a long term operation and never resides in the moment – a world that creates and preserves (that creates for the benefit of a lasting reality). Sacrifice is the antithesis of production, which is accomplished with a view to the future; it is consumption that is concerned only with the moment. This is the sense in which it is gift and relinquishment, but what is given cannot be an object of preservation for the receiver: the gift of an offering makes it pass precisely into the world of abrupt consumption. This is the meaning of “sacrificing to the deity,” whose sacred essence is comparable to a fire. To sacrifice is to give as one gives coal to the furnace. But the furnace ordinarily has an undeniable utility, to which the coal is subordinated, whereas in sacrifice the offering is rescued from all utility. This is so clearly the precise meaning of sacrifice, that one sacrifices what is usiful; one does not sacrifice luxuri- ous objects. There could be no sacrifice if the offering were destroyed beforehand. Now, depriving the labor of The Consummation of Sacrifice The power that death generally has illuminates the mean- ing of sacrifice, which functions like death in that it restores a lost value through a relinquishment of that value. But death is not necessarily linked to it, and the most solemn sacrifice may not be bloody. To sacrifice is THE BASIC DATA manufacture of its usefulness at the outset, luxury has already destroyed that labor; it has dissipated it in vain- glory; in the very moment, it has lost it for good. To sac- rifice a lu’xury object would be to sacrifice the same ob- ject twice. But neither could one sacrifice that which was not first withdrawn from immanence, that which, never hav- ing belonged to immanence, would not have been second- arily subjugated, domesticated, and reduced to being a thing. Sacrifice is made of objects that could have been spirits, such as animals or plant substances, but that have become things and that need to be restored to the imma- nence whence they come, to the vague sphere of lost intimacy. The Individual, Anguish, and Sacrifice Intimacy cannot be expressed discursively. The swelling to the bursting point, the malice that breaks out with clenched teeth and weeps; the sinking feeling that doesn’t know where it comes from or what it’s about; the fear that sings its head off in the dark; the white-eyed pallor, the sweet sadness, the rage and the vomiting. . . are so many evasIons. What is intimate, in the strong sense, is what has the passion of an absence of individuality, the imperceptible sonority of a river, the empty limpidity of the sky: this is 50 SACRIFICE, THE FESTIVAL. THE SACRED WORLD still a negative definition, from which the essential is missing. These statements have the vague quality of inaccessi- ble distances, but on the other hand articulated definitions substitute the tree for the forest, the distinct articulation for that which is articulated. I will resort to articulation nevertheless. Paradoxically, intimacy is violence, and it is destruc- tion, because it is not compatible with the positing of the separate individual. If one describes the individua] in the operation of sacrifice, he is defined by anguish. But if sac- rifice is distressing, the reason is that the individual takes part in it. The individual identifies with the victim in the sudden movement that restores it to immanence (to inti- macy), but the assimilation that is linked to the return to immanence is nonetheless based on the fact that the vic- tim is the thing, just as the sacrificer is the individual. The separate individual is of the same nature as the thing, or rather the anxiousness to remain personally alive that establishes the person’s individuality is linked to the inte- gration of existence into the world of things. To put it differently, work and the fear of dying are interdepen- dent; the former implies the thing and vice versa. In fact it is not even necessary to work in order to be the thing of fear: man is an individual to the extent that his appre- hension ties him to the results of labor. But man is not, 51 THE BASIC DATA as one might think, a thing because he is afraid. He would have no anguish if he were not the individual (the thing), and it is essentially the fact of being an individual that fuels his anguish. It is in order to satisfy the demands of the thing, it is insofar as the world of things has posited his duration as the basic condition of his worth, that he learns anguish. He is afraid of death as soon as he enters the system of projects that is the order of things. Death disturbs the order of things and the order of things holds us. Man is afraid of the intimate order that is not recon- cilable with the order of things. Otherwise there would be no sacrifice, and there would be no mankind either. The intimate order would not reveal itself in the destruc- tion and the sacred anguish of the individual. Because man is not squarely within that order, but only partakes of it through a thing that is threatened in its nature (in the projects that constitute it), intimacy, in the trembling of the individual, is holy, sacred, and suffused with anguish. The Festival The sacred is that prodigious effervescence of life that, for the sake of duration, the order of things holds in check, and that this holding changes into a breaking loose, that is, into violence. It constantly threatens to break the dikes, to confront productive activity with the precipitate 52 SACRIFICE. THE FESTIVAL. THE SACRED WORLD and contagious movement of a purely glorious consump- tion. The sacred is exactly comparable to the flame that destroys the wood by consuming it. It is that opposite of a thing which an unlimited fire is; it spreads, it radiates heat and light, it suddenly inflames and blinds in turn. Sacrifice burns like the sun that slowly dies of the prodigi- ous radiation whose brilliance our eyes cannot bear, but it is never isolated and, in a world of individuals, it calls for the general negation of individuals as such. The divine world is contagious and its contagion is dangerous. In theory, what is started in the operation of sacrifice is like the action of lightning: in theory there is no limit to the conflagration. It favors human life and not animality; the resistance to immanence is what regulates its resurgence, so poignant in tears and so strong in the unavowable pleasure of anguish. But if man surrendered unreservedly to iinmanence, he would fall short of human- ity; he would achieve it only to lose it and eventually life would return to the unconscious intimacy of animals. The constant problem posed by the impossibility of being human without being a thing and of escaping the limits of things without returning to animal slumber receives the limited solution of the festival. The initial movement of the festival is given in elementary humanity, but it reaches the plenitude of an effusion only if the anguished concentration of sacrifice 53 THE BASIC DATA sets it loose. The festival assembles men whom the con- sumption of the contagious offering (communion) opens up to a conflagration, but one that is limited by a counter- vailing prudence: there is an aspiration for destruction that breaks out in the festival, but there is a conservative prudence that regulates and limits it. On the one hand, all the possibilities of consumption are brought together: dance and poetry, music and the different arts contribute to making the festival the place and the time of a spec- tacular letting loose. But consciousness, awake in anguish, is disposed, in a reversal commanded by an inability to go along with the letting loose, to subordinate it to the need that the order of things has – being fettered by nature and self-paralyzed – to receive an impetus from the outside. Thus the letting loose of the festival is finally, jf not fet- tered, then at least confined to the limits of a reality of which it is the negation. The festival is tolerated to the extent that it reserves the necessities of the profane world. Limitation, the Utilitarian Interpretation of the Festival, and the Positing of the Group The festival is the fusion of human life. For the thing and the individual, it is the crucible where distinctions melt in the intense heat of intimate life. But its intimacy is dis- solved in the real and individualized positing of the 54 SACRIFICE. THE FESTIVAL. THE SACRED WORLD ensemble that is at stake in the rituals. For the sake of a real community, of a social fact that is given as a thing – of a common operation in view of a future time – the fes- tival is limited: it is itself integrated as a link in the con- catenation of useful works. As drunkenness, chaos, sexual orgy, that which it tends to be, it drowns everything in immanence in a sense; it then even exceeds the limits of the hybrid world of spirits, but its ritual movements slip into the world of immanence only through the mediation of spirits. To the spirits borne by the festival, to whom the sacrifice is offered, and to whose intimacy the victims are restored, an operative power is attributed in the same way it is attributed to things. In the end the festival itself is viewed as an operation and its effectiveness is not gues- tioned. The possibility of producing, of fecundating the fields and the herds is given to rites whose least servile operative forms are aimed, through a concession, at cut- ting the losses from the dreadful violence of the divine world. In any case, positively in fecundation, negatively in propitiation, the community first appears in the festival as a thing, a definite individualization and a shared project with a view to duration. The festival is not a true return to immanence but rather an amicable reconciliation, full of anguish, between the incompatible necessities. Of course the community in the festival is not posited simply as an object, but more genera]]y as a spirit (as a 55 THE BASIC DATA subject-object), but its positing has the value of a limit to the immanence of the festival and, for this reason, the thing aspect is accentuated. If the festival is not yet, or no longer, under way, the community link to the festival is given in operative forms, whose chief ends are the prod- ucts of labor, the crops, and the herds. There is no clear consciousness of what the festival actually is (of what it is at the moment of its letting loose) and the festival is not situated distinctly in consciousness except as it is inte- grated into the duration of the community. This is what the festival (incendiary sacrifice and the outbreak of fire) is consciously (subordinated to that duration of the com- mon thing, which prevents it from enduring), but this shows the festival’s peculiar impossibility and man’s limit, tied as he is to clear consciousness. So it is not human- ity – insofar as clear consciousness rightly opposes it to animality – restored to immanence. The virtue of the fes- tival is not integrated into its nature and conversely the letting loose of the festival has been possible only because of this powerlessness of consciousness to take it for what it is. The basic problem of religion is given in this fatal misunderstanding of sacrifice. Man is the being that has lost, and even rejected, that which he obscurely is, a vague intimacy. Consciousness could not have become clear in the course of time if it had not turned away from its awkward contents, but clear consciousness is itself 56 SACRIFICE, THE FESTIVAL, THE SACRED WORLD looking for what it has itself lost, and what it must lose again as it draws near to it. Of course what it has Jost is I not outside it; consciousness turns away from the obscure ,intimacy of consciousness itself. Religion, whose essence IS the search for lost intimacy, comes down to the effort of clear cohsciousness which wants to be a com- plete self-consciousness: but this effort is futile, since consciousness of intimacy is possible only at a level where consciousness is no longer an operation whose outcome implies duration, that is, at the level where clarity, which is the effect of the operation, is no longer given. War: The Illusions of the Unleashing of Violence to the Outside A society’s individuality, which the fusion of the festival dissolves, is defined first of all in terms of real works – of agrarian production – that integrate sacrifice into the world of things. But the unity of a group thus has the ability to direct destructive violence to the outside. As a matter of fact, external violence is antithetical to sacrifice or the festival, whose violence works havoc within. Only religion ensures a consumption that destroys the very substance of those whom it moves. Armed action destroys others or the wealth of others. I t can be exerted individually, within a group, but the constituted group 57 THE BASIC DATA can bring it to bear on the outside and it is then that it begins to develop its consequences. In deadly battles, in massacres and pillages, it has a meaning akin to that of festivals, in that the enemy is not treated as a thing. But war is not limited to these explo- sive forces and, within these very limits, it is not a slow action as sacrifice is, conducted with a view to a return to lost intimacy. It is a disorderly eruption whose external direction robs the warrior of the intimacy he attains. And if it is true that warfare tends in its own way to dissolve the individual through a negative wagering of the value of his own life, it cannot help but enhance his value in the course of time by making the surviving individual the beneficiary of the wager. War determines the development of the individual beyond the individual-as-thing in the glorious individual- ity of the warrior. The glorious individual introduces, through a first negation of individuality, the divine order into the category of the individual (which expresses the order of things in a basic way). He has the contradictory will to make the negation of duration durable. Thus his strength is in part a strength to lie. War represents a bold advance but it is the crudest kind of advance: one needs , as much na’ivete – or stupidity – as strength to be indif- ferent to that which one overvalues and to take pride in having deemed oneself of no value. 58 SACRIFI’CE. THE FESTIVAL. THE SACRED WORLD From the Unfettered Violence of Wars to the Fettering of Man-as-Commodity This false and superficial character has serious conse- quences. War is not limited to forms of uncalculated havoc. Although he remains dimly aware of a calling that rules out the self-seeking behavior of work, the warrior reduces his fellow men to servitude. He thus subordinates violence to the most complete reducti~n of mankind to the order of things. Doubtless the warrior is not the initiator of the reduction. The operation that makes the slave a thing presupposed the prior institution of work. But the free ,«orker was a thing voluntarily and for a given time. Only the slave, whom the military order has made a commodity, draws out the complete conse- quences of the reduction. (Indeed, it is necessary to specify that without slavery the world of things would not have achieved its plenitude.) Thus the crude unconscious- ness of the warrior mainly works in favor of a predomi- nance of the real order. The sacred prestige he arrogates to himself is the false pretense of a world brought down to the weight of utility. The warrior’s nobility is like a prostitute’s smile, the truth of which is self-interest. Human Sacrifice The sacrifices of slaves illustrate the principle according to which what is useful is destined for sacrifice. Sacrifice 59 61 THE BASIC DATA SACRIFICE. THE FESTIVAL. THE SACRED WORLD surrenders the slave, whose servitude accentuates the degradation of the human order, to the baleful intimacy of unfettered violence. In general, human sacrifice is the acute stage of a dis- pute setting the movement of a measureless violence against the real order and duration. It is the most radical contestation of the primacy of utility. It is at the same time the highest degree of an unleashing of internal vio- lence. The society in which this sacrifice rages mainly affirms the rejection of a disequilibrium of the two vio- lences. He who unleashes his forces of destruction on the outside cannot be sparing of his resources. If he reduces the enemy to slavery, he must, in a spectacular fashion, make a glorious use of this new source of wealth. He must partly destroy these things that serve him, for there is nothing useful around him that can fail to satisfY, first of all, the mythical order’s demand for consumption. Thus a continual surpassing toward destruction denies, at the same time that it affirms, the individual status of the group. But this demand for consumption is brought to bear on the slave insofar as the latter is his property and his thing. It should not be confused with the movements of violence that have the outside, the enemy, as their object. In this respect the sacrifice of a slave is far from being pure. In a sense it is an extension of military combat, and internal violence, the essence of sacrifice, is not satisfied by it. Intense consumption requires victims at the top who are not only the useful wealth of a people, but this people itself; or at least, elements that signify it and that wiJI be destined for sacrifice, this time not owing to an alienation from the sacred world – a fall – but, quite the contrary, owing to an exceptional proximity, such as the sovereign or the children (whose kiJJing finally realizes the performance of a sacrifice twice over). One could not go further in the desire to consume the life substance. Indeed, one could not go more recklessly than this. Such an intense movery1ent of consumption re- sponds to a movement of malaise by creating a greater malaise. It is not the apogee of a religious system, but rather the moment when it condemns itself: when the old forms have lost part of their virtue, it can maintain itself only through excesses, through innovations that are too onerous. Numerous signs indicate that these cruel demands were not easily tolerated. Trickery replaced the king with a slave on whom a temporary royalty was conferred. The primacy of consumption could not resist that of military force. 60
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OXFORD WORLD’S CLASSICS OXFORD WORLD’S CLASSICS ….[io~al1rfOSUQO yea,rs O~ford World’s Classics have brought ‘;-~/~i!ers clos~~tQJhe w~rld’sgreat literature. Now with over 700 “ies–ftom the 4,ooo-year-old myths of Mesopotamia to the ntjethcentury ‘sgreatest novels-the series makes available ” . lesser-known as well as celebrated writing. i’iJ;’ -. The}o-cket-sized hardbacks of the early years contained . . – Introductions by Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Graham Greene, .find other literary figures which enriched the experience of reading. Today the series is recognized for its fine scholarship and reliability in texts that span world literature, drama and poetry, religion, philosophy and politics. Each edition includes perceptive commentary and essential background information to meet the changing needs of readers. EMILE DURKHEIM The Elementary Forms of Religious Life Translated by CAROL COSMAN Abridged with an Introduction and Notes by MARK S. CLAD IS OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS CHAPTER I A DEFINITION OF THE RELIGIOUS PHENOMENON AND OF RELIGION I IN order to identify the simplest and most primitive religion known to us from observation, we must first define what is meant by a religion. If we do not, we might either call a system of ideas and practices religion that are not in the least religious, or bypass religious phenomena without perceiving their true nature. This dan- ger is not imaginary, nor is it just an offering to sterile method- ological formalism; because he failed to take this precaution, Sir James Frazer,* to whom the science of comparative religions is greatly indebted, could not recognize the deeply religious character of beliefs and rites that will be studied below, and in which we now see the seed of humanity’s religious life. This is a preliminary matter that must be dealt with first. Not that we could hope to reach the underlying and truly revealing features of religion at this point; these can be determined only at the end of our enquiry. But it is both necessary and possible to indicate a certain number of easily per- ceived outward signs that allow religious phenomena to be recog- nized wherever they are met, and. that prevent them from being confused with others. We shall turn now to this preliminary process. For this process to yield the expected results, we must begin by freeing our minds of any preconceived ideas. Men have had to invent a notion of religion well before the science of religions could estab- lish its systematic comparisons. The demands of existence compel all of us, believers and non-believers, somehow to represent those things that we live with, make judgements about, and take into con- sideration for our conduct. But since these preliminary notions are formed unsystematically, according to the chance events and encounters of li’fe, they are discredited and must be firmly set aside , We have already tried to define the phenomenon of religion in a work published in L ‘Annee sociologique (3: I ff.). As we shall see, the definition given there differs from the one now being proposed. At the end of this chapter we explain the reasons for these modifications, which do not, however, imply any essential change in the conception of the facts. …….. 26 The Elementary Forms of Religious Life in the examination that follows. The elements of the definition we require are not to be found in our prejudices, our passions, or our labits, but in reality itself. So let us confront that reality. Leaving aside any conception of eligion in general, let us consider religions in their concrete reality, nd let us try to discover what they have in common; for religion can e defined only as a function of features found wherever there is digion. In this comparison we shall therefore include all religious ystems available to us, those present and past, the simplest and most rimitive as well as the most recent and refined; for we have no right ) keep some and exclude others, and no logical means to do it. To r1yone who views religion as merely a natural expression of human ~tivity, all religions without exception are instructive: they all ~press man in their own way, and can therefore help us to reach a etter understanding of this aspect of our nature. Besides, we have :en that studying the form religion takes among the most civilized wples is hardly the best approach.! But before tackling the question itself and in order to free the Lind of those common conceptions whose hold can prevent us from :eing things as they are, it is appropriate to examine several of the lost current definitions in which these prejudices are expressed. ‘~ I ne notion generally considered characteristic of everything ligious is the notion of the supernatural. This means any order of ings beyond our understanding: the supernatural is the world of ystery, the unknowable, the incomprehensible. Religion would en be a kind of speculation on all that escapes science and clear inking in general. ‘Religions’, says Spencer,* ‘that are diametrically ‘posite in their dogmas tacitly agree on recognizing that the world, th all it contains and all that surrounds it, is a mystery seeking an planation.’ In his view, religions consist of ‘the belief in the omni- esence of something that goes beyond the intellect’,’ Similarly, See above. We shall not go on at greater length about the necessity of these def- :ions or the method used to arrive at them. These are found in my Us Rigles de la hodeso<"lologique (,895), 43 If. C( Le Suicide (Paris: Alcan, ,897, then PUF), ,If. Herbert Spencer, First Principles (New York: D. Appleton, ,862), 37. [Durkheim d the French translation (Paris: Alcan, '902), 3B–9.] The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 27 Max Miiller* sawall religion as 'an effort to conceive of the inconceivable and to express the inexpressible, an aspiration toward the infinite'.' True, the feeling of mystery has played an important role in cer- tain religions, notably Christianity. Yet the importance of this role has varied considerably at different moments in Christian history. There were periods when this notion of mystery became secondary and even vanished altogether. For men of the seventeenth century, for example, dogma was not a challenge to reason. Faith was easily reconciled with science and philosophy, and thinkers like Pascal, who had a vivid sense of the profound obscurity of things, were so out of step with their times that they were misunderstood by their contemporaries: It might be rather hasty, then, to make an idea that is subject to such eclipses the essential element of even the Christian religion. In any case, this idea appears very late in the history of religions. It is completely alien not only to the peoples we call primitive but also to those who have not reached a certain degree of intellectual cul- ture. Of course, when we see them attribute extraordinary virtues to trivial objects, or peopling the universe with singular principles made up of the most disparate elements and endowed with a sort of ubiquity difficult to imagine, we are ready to find an air of mystery in these ideas. It seems to us that men have resigned themselves to ideas so troubling to our modern reason only because they could not find more rational ones. In reality, however, the explanations that aston- ish us seem supremely simple to the primitive. He sees them not as a kind of ultima ratio* to which intelligence resigns itself only as a last resort, but as the most immediate way of conceptualizing and under- standing what he observes around him. For him, there is nothing strange in using one's voice or gestures to command the elements, to halt or advance the progress of the stars, to make the rain fall or not, and so on. The rites he uses to ensure the fertility of the soil or the fecundity of animal species that provide him with food are no more irrational, in his view, than the technical procedures our agronomists , Max Muller, Introduction to the Science of ReligiO/ls (London: Longmans, ,873), ,8. C( Lectures on the Origin and GroIlJth of ReligIon (London: Longmans, ,878), 23. , The same mentality is also found in the period of scholasticism, as wirness the formula by which the philosophy of the time defined itself: Fides quaerens intellWI/m [Faith in search of intellect). ~ 28 The Elementary Forms of Religious Lift use for the same purpose; The forces he sets in motion by these various means do not seem especially mysterious to him. Certainly these forces differ from those the modern scientist conceives and :eaches us to use; they act differently and cannot be controlled by the :ame procedures; but for the man who believes in them, they are no ess intelligible than weight or electricity is to the physicist today. .1oreover, we shall see in the course of this work that the notion of latural forces is probably derived from the notion of religious forces, o there cannot be the same gulf between them that separates the ational from the irrational. Even the fact that religious forces are ften conceived as spiritual entities, as conscious wills, is no proof of h.eir irrationality. Reason does not reject a priori the idea that so- aIled inanimate bodies, like human bodies, may be moved by intelli- ences, although contemporary science does not easily accommodate 1is hypothesis. When Leibniz imagined the external world as a vast )ciety of minds having only mental relations, he thought he was 'orking as a rationalist, and he saw nothing in this animism that light offend the understanding. Moreover, the idea of the supernatural, as we understand it, is of :cent vintage: it presupposes its opposite, which it negates and hich is not at all primitive. In order to call certain phenomena Ipernatural, one must already have the sense that there is a natural -der of things, in other words, that the phenomena of the universe 'e connected to one another according to certain necessary relation- lips called laws. Once this principle. is established, anything that ~rtains to these laws necessarily appears to be beyond nature, and so :yond reason; for what is natural in this sense is also rational, those :cessary relations expressing only the way that things are logically 1ked. But this notion of universal determinism is very recent; even .e greatest thinkers of classical antiquity were never fully aware of This idea is a triumph of the empirical sciences; it is their basic Istulate and has been demonstrated by their progress. Yet as long as is notion was absent or was not firmly established, the most mar- :llous events never seemed inconceivable. As long as it was not lown that the order of things was immutable and inflexible, as long it was seen as the work of contingent wills, it seemed natural that ese wills or others might modify things arbitrarily. This is why the iraculous interventions which the ancients attributed to their gods ~re not seen as miracles in the modern sense of the word. They The Elementary Forms of Religious Lift were beautiful, rare,. or terrible spectacles, objects of surprise and wonder (Greek 6aul.W:ta, mirabilia, miracula); they were not seen as glimpses into a mysterious world closed to reason. This mentality is all the more easily understood since it has not entirely disappeared. While the principle of determinism is now firmly established in the physical and natural sciences, it was intro- duced into the social sciences only a century ago, and its authority in these fields is still contested. Only a few minds are deeply convinced that societies are subject to necessary laws and constitute a realm of nature. It follows that true miracles are still thought possible. We accept, for example, that a legislator can create an institution out of nothing by the simple exercise of his will, transforming one social system into another, just as believers in so many religions accept that divine will has drawn the world out of nothingness or can arbitrarily transmute some beings into others. As far as social matters are con- cerned, we still have the mentality of primitives. And yet when it comes to sociology, so many contemporaries are reluctant to give up this old-fashioned idea, though not because the life of societies seems obscure and mysterious to them. Rather, they are so easily satisfied by these explanations that they cling to these illusions which are repeatedly belied by experience, because soCial matters seem to them the most obvious things in the world; they do not grasp their true obscurity, and they have not yet recognized the need to replicate the painstaking procedures of the natural sciences in order to dispel this darkness. The same state of mind is found at the root of many religious beliefs that surprise us by their simplistic nature. Science, not religion, has taught men that things are complex and difficult to understand. But, Jevons* replies, I the human mind has no need of a scientific culture as such to notice that fixed sequences and a constant order of succession prevail in the world, and to observe that, on the other hand, this order is often broken. The sun is suddenly eclipsed, rain does not fall when it should, the moon takes its time reappearing after its periodic disappearance, and so on. Because these events are outside the ordinary course of things, they are attributed to extra- ordinary, exceptional-in a word, extra-natural-causes. It is in this I Frank Byron Jevons, An Introduction to the History of Religion {London: Methuen, 1902),15. 30 The Elementary Forms of Religious Life f~rm that the idea of the supernatural was born at the beginning of hIstory, and from that moment religious thought acquired its own unique object. The supernatural is not, however, merely the unforeseen. The novel is as much a part of nature as its opposite. If we assert that phenomena usually succeed one another in a fixed order we also . , notIce that this order is always approximate, that it is not quite the s~me at different moments, and that it includes all sorts of excep- tIOns. Our slightest experience teaches us that our expectations are often disappointed, and these disappointments are too frequent to seem extraordinary. Experience contains elements of chance as well as a certain uniformity, so we have no reason to attribute these elem- ~n~s to entirely different forces. To have the idea of the supernatural, It IS not enough for us to witness unexpected events; rather, these events must be regarded as impossible-as irreconcilable with an order that seems, rightly or wrongly, to be a necessary part of the nature of things. This notion of a necessary order has been gradually con.structed by the empirical sciences; it follows that the opposite notIOn could not have pre-dated them. Furthermore, no matter how men have conceived novelties and contingencies revealed by experience, there is nothing in these 'con- ceptions that might characterize religion. Religious conceptions aim above all to express and explain not what is exceptional and abnormal but, on the contrary, what is constant and regular. Gener- ally, th~ gods serve farless to account for monstrosities, oddities, and anomabes, than for the usual course of the universe, the movement ~f the stars, the rhythm of the seasons, the annual growth of vegeta- tIOn, the perpetuation of the species, and so on. So the notion of the religious does not coincide with the extraordinary and the unexpected. Jevons replies that this conception of religious forces is not primitive. These forces must first have been imagined to account for disorders and accidents, and only later used to expla~ the uni- formities o~ nature. But it is hard to see what could have prompted men to assIgn them such clearly opposite functions. Besides, the hYP?thesis that sacred beings were first confined to the negative role o~ dIsturbers is entirely arbitrary. We shall see, in fact, that beginning with the simplest religions we know, the basic task of sacred beings has been to sustain the normal course of life in a positive way. Thus the idea of mystery is not original. It is not inherent in man' , The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 3 I i~;tman himself has forged this idea with his own hands, along with its ::';c, contrary. That is why the idea of mystery figures in only a small number of advanced religions. It cannot be made the chief character- 'istic of religious phenomena, then, without excluding from the defin- ition most of the facts to be defined. II Another idea that has frequently been used to define religion is divinity. 'Religion', says Reville, 'is the determination of human life by the feeling of a bond uniting the human mind to the mysterious mind it recognizes as ruling the world and itself, and with which it takes pleasure in feeling united.'! If the word divinity is understood in a precise and narrow sense, this definition excludes a multitude of obviously religious facts. The souls of the dead and spirits of every kind and rank, with which the religious imagination of so many peoples has populated nature, are always the object of rites and sometimes even of regular cults; and yet they are not gods strictly speaking. To include them in this definition, however, all we have to do is replace the word 'god' with the more comprehensive term 'spiritual being'. Tylor* has done this: 'In studying systematically the religions of lower races,' he says, the first point is to define and specify what one means by religion. If one insists that the term means belief in a supreme being. . . a certain number of tribes will be excluded from the world of religion. But that too narrow definition has the flaw of identifying religion with certain of its particular developments . . . It seems better to set spiritual beings as a minimum definition. Z Spiritual beings must be understood to mean conscious subjects with capacities superior to those of ordinary men; this qualification includes the souls of the dead, genies, and demons, as well as divin- ities strictly speaking. It is worth noting straight away the particular conception of religion that this definition implies. The only relations we might have with beings of this kind are determined by the nature ascribed to them. These are conscious beings, and we can influence them only as one influences consciousnesses in general, that is, by , Alhert Reville, Proligomenes Ii I'hislOire des religions (Paris: Fischbacher, 188 I), 34. , Edward Burnett Tylor, Primit,'ve Culture (London: John Murray, 1873), i. 491. 3Z The Elementary Forms of Religious Life psychological means, by trying to convince them or move, them, either with words (invocations, prayers) or with offerings and sacri- fices. And since the purpose of religion is to regulate our relations with these special beings, religion would be present only where there are prayers, sacrifices, propitiatory rites, and so on. So we would use a very simple criterion to distinguish what is religious from what is not. Frazer systematically applies this criterion, as do certain ethnographers. But although this definition may seem obvious, given the habits of mind we owe to our religious education, there are a number of facts to which it does not apply that none the less belong to the realm of religion. In the first place, there are great religions in which the idea of gods and spirits is absent, or plays only a secondary and unobtrusive role. This is the case with Buddhism. Buddhism, says Burnouf, 'stands in opposition to Brahmanism as a moral system without god and an atheism without Nature'.' 'It recognizes no god on whom man depends,' says Mr Barth, 'its doctrine is absolutely atheist';2 and Oldenberg, on his side, calls it 'a religion without god'.3 Indeed, the essentials of Buddhism can be summed up in four propositions which the faithful call the Four Noble Truths. The first states that the existence of suffering is bound to the perpetual flux of things; the second locates the cause of suffering in desire; the third makes the suppression of desire the only way to end suffering; the fourth enumerates the three stages one must pass through to achieve this suppression: rectitude, meditation, and finally wisdom, the full possession of the doctrine. After passing through these three stages, one comes to the end of the road and achieves deliverance, salvation through Nirvana. It is true that at least in certain divisions of the Buddhist Church the , Buddha is regarded as a kind of god. He has his temples and has become the object of a cult, albeit a very simple one that consists '. Eugene Burnout; Introduction Ii !'histoire du bouddhisme indien (2nd edn., Paris: MaIsonneuve, 1876),464. The last word of the text means that Buddhism does not even accept the existence of an eternal Nature. , Auguste Barth, The Religions oj India, trans. Revd J. Wood (London: Houghton Mifflin, 1882), 110. ) Hermann OIdenberg, Le Bouddha (French trans., Paris: Alcan, 1894),51. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life essentially of the offerings of certain flowers and the adoration of ',relics or sacred images. It is little more than a cult of memory. But . this divinization of the Buddha, if that is the right expression, is peculiar to what is called northern Buddhism. 'The Buddhists of the " South', says Kern, 'and the least advanced among the Buddhists of . the North can be said, according to currently known facts, to speak of the founder of their doctrine as if he were a man." They certainly attribute extraordinary powers to the Buddha, superior to those of ordinary mortals; but it was a very ancient belief in India, and very common in many different religions, that a great saint is endowed with exceptional virtues. Yet despite the superhuman faculties often attributed to him, a saint is not a god, any more than a priest or a magician is a god. Besides, according to the greatest scholarly authorities, this kind of theism and the complex mythology that usually goes with it is merely a derivative and deviant form of Buddhism. Buddha was, in the first instance, considered only 'the wisest of men'! [. . .J Finally, whatever one thinks of the divinity of Buddha, it remains a conception completely external to what is really basic in Bud- dhism. Buddhism consists above all of the notion of salvation, and salvation merely requires one to know and practise the good doc- trine. That doctrine could not be known, of course, if Buddha had not come to reveal it; but once that revelation was made, the Buddha's work was done. From this moment on, he ceased to be a necessary factor in religious life. The practice of the Four Noble Truths would be possible, then, even if the memory of the man who revealed them should fade. It is quite different from Christianity, which is inconceivable without the ever-present idea and the ever-practised cult of Christ. For it is through the ever-living and continually sacrificed Christ that the community of the faithful continues to communicate with the supreme source of its spiritual life. What we have just said applies equally to another great Indian religion, Jainism. Moreover, the two doctrines seem to have nearly the same conception of the world and of life. 'Like the Buddhists,' says Barth, 'the J ainists are atheists. They reject the idea of a creator; , Hendrick Kern, HislOire du bouddhisme dans !'Inde, vol. i (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1901),289. , Burnouf, Introduction, 120. 33 34 The Elementary Forms of Religious Life . for them the world is eternal and they explicitly deny that a perfect being could exist from all eternity. The Jina has become perfect, but he was not always so.' Like the Buddhists of the north, the Jainists, or at least some of them, have none the less reverted to a kind of deism. The Deccan inscriptions mention a Jinapati, a kind of supreme Jina, who is called the first creator; but such language, says the same author, 'conflicts with the most explicit declarations of their most authoritative writers'. I Moreover, this indifference to the divine is so pronounced in Buddhism and Jainism because its seeds were already present in Brahmanism, from which both religions derive. At least in some of its forms, Brahmanic speculation issued in 'a frankly materialist and atheist explanation of the universe'! Over time, the multiple divin- ities that the peoples ofIndia had first learned to worship merged into a sort of impersonal and abstract principle, the essence of all that exists. Man contains within himself this supreme reality, which no longer has divine personality, or rather he is one with it since nothing exists outside it. To find and unite with this reality, he need not search outside himself for some external support; it is enough to focus on the self and meditate.* [. . .] These are great religions in which invoca- tions, propitiations, sacrifices, and prayers, strictly speaking, are far from central and so do not present the distinctive mark by which we claim to recognize specifically religious expressions. Even in deistic religions we find a great number of rites that are entirely independent of any idea of gods or spiritual beings. First of all, there are a multitude of prohibitions. The Bible, for example, commands women to live in isolation for a specified period each month,] and requires the same sort of isolation during childbirth.4 It forbids yoking together the ox and the ass, or wearing clothing in which wool is mixed with linen,s though it is impossible to see what role the belief in Yahweh can have played in these prohibitions. He is absent from all the prohibited relations, and could have no interest in them. The same can be said of most dietary restrictions. Such , Barth, Religions of India, 146. , A. Barth, 'Religions de ['Inde', in Encyclopidie des sciences re/igieuses (Paris: Sandor & Fischbacher, 1877-82), vi. 548. J Leviticus IS: 19-24. · Leviticus 12. , Deuteronomy 22: 10-1 I. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 35 'restrictions are not peculiar to the Hebrews but are found in various forms in many religions. It is true that these rites are purely negative, but they are none the less religious. In addition, there are other rites that require the believer to perform positive acts of a similar nature. They act on their own, and their efficacy does not depend on divine power; they mechanically promote the effects which are their justification. They involve neither prayers nor offerings addressed to a being on whose goodwill the expected result depends; rather this result is achieved by the automatic operation of the ritual. [. . .J . In every cult there are practices that act by themselves, through a virtue of their own, without any god mediating between the indi- vidual who executes the rite and the goal pursued. When the Jew stirred the air at the feast of Tabernacles by shaking willow branches in a certain rhythm, it was to make the wind rise and rain fall. He believed that the rite produced the desired result automatically, pro- vided it was correctly performed. Furthermore, this explains the primary importance attached by nearly every cult to the material aspect of ceremonies. This religious formalism-probably the first form of legal formalism-derives from the fact that, containing the source of their own efficacy, the formula to be pronounced and the movements to be executed would fail if they did not follow precisely those already hallowed by success. Thus there are rites without gods, and there are even rites from which gods derive. Not all religious qualities emanate from divine personalities, and there are cultic practices that have other goals than man's union with a divinity. Religion therefore transcends the idea of gods or spirits, and so cannot be defined exclusively as a function of that idea. III Setting these definitions aside, let us address the problem directly. First, let us note that all these formulas attempt to express the nature of religion as a whole. They proceed as if religion formed a kind of seamless entity, although in reality it is a whole formed of parts, a more or less complex system of myths, dogmas, rites, and ceremonies. Now, a whole can be defined only in relation to the parts that comprise it, so it is more methodical to try and characterize the 36 The Elementary Forms of Religious Life ~lementary phenomena that generate any religion than to character- I~e t~e system they produce. This method seems even more compd- hng In hght of the fact that religious phenomena exist that do not result in any specific religion. These provide the material of folklore. In general they are the debris of vanished religions, disorganized remnants; but some are formed spontaneously under the influence of local causes. In Europe, Christianity tried to absorb and assimilate them, giving them a Christian coloration. None the less, there are many that have persisted until recently, or that still persist more or less. indepe~dently: maypole festivals, the summer solstice, carnival, vanous beliefs relating to genies and local demons, and so on. A definition that fails to take them into account would not cover everything rdigious. ~eligious ?henomena fall quite naturally into two basic categories: bellef~ and ntes. The first are states of opinion and consist of repre- sentatIOns; the second are fixed modes of actions. These two classes of phenomena differ as much as thought differs from action. . Rites can be defined and distinguished from other human prac- tIC~S, notably moral practices, only by the special nature of their object. A ~orallaw, ~ike a rite, prescribes ways of acting, but these ~ddress objects of a dIfferent kind. Therefore, to characterizetlte rite Itself, the object of the rite must first be characterized. Now: the special nature of this object is expressed in belief The rite c;n be defined, then, only after defining the belief. All known ~eligious beliefs, whether simple or complex, present a co~mon q.uallty: they presuppose a classification of things-the real or Ideal things that men represent for themselves-into two classes ~wo opposite kinds, generally designated by two distinct terms effect~ Ively translated by the words profane and sacred. The division of tlte world. into two comprehens~v~ domains, one sacred, the other pro- fa~~, IS the hallmark of religIOus thought. Beliefs, myths, gnomic SPIrIts: and legends are either representations or systems of repre- sentatIOn t~at express the nature of sacred things, the virtues and powers attr~buted to them, their history, their relations with each other and.wlth profane things. But sacred things should not be taken to mean sIm~ly those personal beings we call gods or spirits. A rock, a tree: a spring, a stone, a piece of wood, a house, in other words anything at all, can be sacred. A rite can have this sacred character as well; in fact, no rite exists that does not have it to some degree. There The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 37 are words, speeches, and formulas that can be spoken only by con- secrated persons; there are gestures and movements that cannot be executed by everyone. If, according to mythology, Vedic sacrifice was not just a way of winning favour with the gods but actually created them, that is because it possessed a virtue comparable to those of the most sacred beings. The circle of sacred objects, then, cannot be fixed once and for all; its scope varies endlessly from one religion to another. Buddhism is a religion because, in the absence of gods, it accepts the existence of sacred things, namely the Four Noble Truths and the practices that derive from them. I Up to this point we have confined ourselves to listing a certain number of sacred things as examples. Now we must indicate the general features that distinguish them from profane things. One might be tempted to define them first by the place they are generally assigned in the hierarchy of beings. They are regarded as superior in dignity and power to profane things, and particularly to man when he is merdy a man and does not himself participate in the sacred. He is represented, in fact, as occupying a lower and depend- ent place in relation to sacred things; and this representation is cer- tainly not inaccurate. But nothing about it is truly characteristic of the sacred. It is not enough to make one thing subordinate to make the otlter sacred in relation to it. Slaves depend on their masters, subjects on their king, soldiers on their chiefs, the lower classes on the governing classes, the miser on his gold, the ambitious on power and those who have it. Now, if we sometimes say that a person's rdigion consists of beings or things which he considers eminently valuable and in some way superior to himself, it is clear that in all such cases the word is meant metaphorically, and that there is noth- ing in these relations that is properly religious in the strict sense of the term! On the other hand, we must not lose sight of the fact that there are things that man feels relatively comfortable with, though they are supremely sacred. An amulet has a sacred character, and yet it does not inspire exceptional respect. Even face to face with his gods, man is not always in such a markedly inferior state; he often uses what , Not to speak of the sage and the saint who practise these truths and are for this reason sacred. , This is not to say that these relations cannot take on a religious character, but they do not necessarily do so. —-.– The Elementary Forms of Religious Life amounts to physical force on them to achieve his desire. He beats the fetish when he is displeased, only to be reconciled with it if it becomes more compliant to the wishes of its worshipper. To make rain, stones are thrown into the spring or in the sacred lake where the rain god is supposed to live; it is believed that this will force him to come out and show himself. Moreover, while it is true that man depends on his gods, the dependence is mutual. The gods also need man; without offerings and sacrifices, they would die. We shall have occasion to show that this dependence of the gods on their faithful is maintained even in the most refined religions. However, if a purely hierarchical distinction is both too general and too vague a criterion, the only way to define the relation between the sacred and the profane is their heterogeneity. This heterogeneity suffices to characterize this classification of things and to distinguish it from any other for one particular reason: it is absolute. There is no other example in the history of human thought of two categories of things so profoundly differentiated or so radically opposed to one another. The traditional opposition between good and evil is nothing by comparison; good and evil are opposite species of the same genus, namely morality, just as health and sickness are merely two different aspects of the same order of facts-life. By contr-ast, the sacred and the profane have always and everywhere been conceived by the human mind as separate genera, as two worlds that have nothing in common. The energies at play in one are not merely different in their degree of intensity; they are different in kind. This opposition is conceived differently in different religions. In some, localizing these two kinds of things in distinct regions of the physical universe seems sufficient to separate them; in others, sacred things are cast into an ideal and transcendent setting, while the material world is left entirely to others. But while the forms of the contrast vary, the fact is universal. This does not mean that a being can never pass from one world to the other; but when it happens, the way this passage occurs highlights the essential duality of the two realms. It implies a true metamorphosis. This is demonstrated particularly well in rites of initiation, which are practised by a great many peoples. The initi- ation is a long series of ceremonies whose purpose is to introduce the young man to religious life: for the first time he leaves the purely profane world, where he spent his childhood, to enter the circle of The Elementary Forms of Religious Life sacred things. Now, this change of status is conceived, not as the simple ana normal development of pre-existing seeds, but as a trans- formation totius substantiae. * It is said that at this moment the young man dies, that the particular person he was ceases to exist and is instantaneously replaced by another. He is reborn in a new form. Appropriate ceremonies are performed to bring about this death and rebirth, which are not merely symbolic but are taken literally. This seems to be proof of a rupture between the profane being he was and the religious being he becomes. This heterogeneity is so great it often degenerates into a serious antagonism. The two worlds are not only conceived as separate, but as hostile and jealous rivals. Since a man can belong fullYLo one realm only if he is entirely out of the other, he is exhorted to with- draw completely from the profane to live an exclusively religious life. Monasticism artificially organizes a closed setting, parallel to and apart from the natural setting in which most men live the life of their times. And there is mystic asceticism, whose purpose is to sever man's last remaining attachments to the profane world. Indeed, there is religious suicide, the logical culmination of this asceticism, since the only way of escaping profane life entirely is to escape life altogether. The opposition of these two genera is translated externally by a visible sign that allows ready recognition of this very special classifi- cation wherever it exists. Because man's notion of the sacred is always and everywhere separated from his notion of the profane by a sort of logical gulf between the two, the mind radically rejects any mingling or even contact between the things that correspond to these realms. Such promiscuous mingling or even contact dangerously contradicts the state of dissociation in which these ideas are found in human consciousness. The sacred thing is, par excellence, that which the profane must not and cannot touch with impunity. This prohib- ition surely makes all communication impossible between the two worlds; for if the profane could enter into relations with the sacred, the sacred would serve no purpose. Now, this contact is always in itself a delicate operation that requires precautions and a more or less complicated initiation; but it is not even possible unless the profane loses its specific features and becomes sacred to some extent. The two genera cannot be brought together and still maintain their separate natures. 39 The Elementary Forms of Religious Life Now we have a first criterion of religious beliefs; Within these two fundamental genera, of course, there are secondary species that are also more or less incompatible with each other. But what is character- istic of the religious phenomenon is that it always assumes a binary division of the known and knowable universe into two genera that include all that exists but radically exclude each other. Sacred things are those things protected and isolated by prohibitions; profane things are those things to which such prohibitions apply and which must keep their distance from what is sacred. Religious beliefs are representations that express the nature of sacred things and the relations they sustain among themselves or with profane things. Finally, rites are rules of conduct that prescribe how man must conduct himself with sacred things. When a certain number of sacred things sustain relations of coordination and subordination between them, forming a system that has a certain unity but does not enter into any other system of the same kind, this set of beliefs and corresponding rites constitutes a religion. By this definitiori, a religion is not necessarily contained in a single and consistent idea, and cannot be reduced to a unique principle that may vary according to circumstances but is basically identical everywhere; rather it is a whole formed from distinct and relatively individualized parts. Every homogeneous group of sacred things, or indeed every sacred thing of any importance, constitutes a centre of organization around which a group of beliefs and rites, a particular cult, gravitates. And no religion, however unified, fails to recognize the plurality of sacred things. Even Christianity, at least in its Catholic form, includes, in addition to the divine being-who is three in one, besides-the Virgin, angels, saints, souls of the dead, and so on. And a religion cannot usually be reduced to a single cult but consists of a system of cults that have a certain autonomy. Some- times they are ranked hierarchically and subordinated to some dom- inant cult into which they are eventually absorbed; but sometimes they simply exist side by side in a kind of confederation. The religion we are about to study will provide a good example of this sort of organization. At the same time, groups of religious phenomena may exist that do not belong to any constituted religion because they are not or are no longer integrated into a religious system. When such a cult per- sists for any particular reason, while the whole to which it belonged The Elementary Forms of Religious Life has vanished, it will survive only in fragments. This is what has happened to many agrarian cults that have survived in folklore. In some cases what persists in this form is not even a cult but a simple ceremony or a particular rite. . Although this definition is only preliminary, it already suggests a way to pose the problem that necessarily dominates the science of religions. * If one believes that sacred beings are distinguished merely by the greater intensity of their powers, the question of how men could entertain this idea is a rather simple one: merely identify those forces whose exceptional energy could strike the human mind viv- idly enough to inspire religious feelings. But if, as we have tried to establish, sacred things differ in nature from profane things, if they have a different essence, the problem is quite complex. We must ask ourselves, then, what compelled man to see the world as two hetero- geneous and incompatible worlds, though nothing in palpable experience seems to have suggested the idea of such a radical duality. IV This definition, however, is not yet complete since it applies equally to two orders of things which, though related, must none the less be distinguished: magic and religion. Magic also consists of beliefs and rites. Like religion, it has its myths and its dogmas, but they are more rudimentary, probably because in pursuing technical and utilitarian aims, magic does not waste time in pure speculation. Magic also has its ceremonies, sacri- fices, purification rituals, prayers, chants, and dances. The beings invoked by the magician, the forces he puts into play, are not only similar in nature to the forces and beings addressed by religion but often identical. Beginning with the most primitive societies, the souls of the dead are essentially sacred things and the objects of religious rites. But at the same time they have played a considerable role in magic. In Australia as well as in Melanesia, in ancient Greece as well as among Christian peoples, the souls of the dead, their bones and their hair, are among the magician's most useful tools. Demons are also commonly used in the performance of magic. Now, demons, too, are beings surrounded by prohibitions; they too are separated, living in a world apart, and it is often difficult to distinguish them from gods proper. Even in Christianity, isn't the devil a fallen god? And
i wil also provide the readings 1- Suggested questions 2- Objectives for writing a reading response 3- Outline of grading criteria You will also find a template of the writing assignment (on the Burk
SACRIFICE: ITS NATURE AND FUNCTION Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss Translated by W. D. Halls Foreword by E. E. Evans~Pritchard Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford Definition and Unity of the Sacrificial System consecration or purification of the temple or the altar, the blood of the victim is used to anoint the doors and walls. This rite endows them with consecration. 6 0 Now a rite of the same nature is to be found in the zebah shelamim of ordination; an exactly similar anointing with blood is performed upon Aaron and his solis. 51 These examples show the affinity that links practices which in their aim and results seem completely opposed. There is a continuity between the forms of sacrifice. They are both too diverse and yet too similar for it to be possible to divide them into over-specialized categories. They are all the same in essence, and it is this which .constitutes their unity. They are the outer coverings of one single mechanism that we now propose to dismantle and describe. Chapter Two THE SCHEME OF) SACRIFICE THE ENTRY IT IS EVIDENT that we cannot hope here to sketch out an abstract scheme of sacrifice comprehensive enough to suit all known cases; the variety of facts is too great. All that can be done is to study specific forms of sacrifice that are complex enough for all the important moments of the drama to be included in them and well enough known for an exact analysis to be made. The sacrifice which seems to us to answer best to these conditions is the Vedic Hindu sacrifice of animals. Indeed we know of no other in which the details are better explained. All the participants are very clearly presented at the time of their entrance and exit as well as during the course of the action. Moreover, it is an amorpho'us rite; it is not orientated ina fixed direction, but may serve the most diverse ends. There is thus no sacrifice that lends itself better to the investiga- tion we desire to undertake. For this reason we shall make it the foundation of our study, except for grouping around the analysis of it other facts taken either from India itelf or from other religions. . Sacrifice is a religious act that can only be carried out tt' in a religious atmosphere and by means of essentially reli- gious agents. But, in general, before the ceremony neither sacrifier nor sacrificer, l1Qf place, instruments, or victim,. ~9 The Scheme of Sacrifice possess this characteristic to a suitable degree. The first phase of the sacrifice is intended to impart it to them. They are profane; their condition must be changed. To do this, rites are necessary to introduce them into the sacred world and invoive them in it, more or less pro- foundly, according to the importance ofthe part they have subsequently to play. It is this which constitutes, in the very words of the Sanskrit texts, 6 2 the entry into the sacrifice. (1) The sacrifier. In order to study the manner in which this change in condition is effected in the sacrifier, let us at once take an extreme, almost abnormal case, which does not belong to the ritual of animal sacrifice, but in which the common rites are as it were enlarged, and consequently more easily observable. The case is that of the diksha, namely, the preparation of the sacrifier for the sacrifice of the soma.63 As soon as the priests have been selected, a whole series of symbolic ceremonies begins for the sacrifier. These will progressively strip him of th{;} temporal being that he possessed, in order to cause him to' be reborn in an entirely new form. Allthat toucl1~s upon the gods must be divine; the sacrifier is obliged to become a god himself in order to be capable of acting upon them. 64 To this end a special hut is built for him, tightly en- closed, for the dikshita is a god and the world of the gods is separated from that of men.66 He is shaved and his nails are cut,5 6 but according to the fashion of the gods-that is to say, in the opposite order to that which is usually followed among men.6 7 After taking a bath of purifica- tion,68 he dons a brand-new linen garment, 6 9 thereby indicating that a new existence is about to begin for him. Then, after various anointings, 6 0 he is dressed in the skin of a black antelope. 61 This is the solemn moment when 20 The Scheme of Sacrifice the new creature stirs within him. He has become a foetus. His head is veiled and he is made to clench his fists, 62 for the embryo in its bag has its fists clenched. He is made to wal~ around the hearth just as the foetus moves within the womb. He remains in this state until the great ceremony of the introduction of the soma. 63 Then he unclenches his fists, he unveils himself, he is born into the divine existence, hbi is a god. But once his divine nature has been proclaimed, 6' it confers upon him the rights and imposes upon him the duties of a god, or at least those of a holy man. He must have no contact with men of impure caste, nor with women; he does not reply to those who question him; he must not be touched. 66 Being a god, he is dispensed from all sacrifice. He consumes only milk, the food of fasting. And this existence lasts for many long months until his body has become translucent. Then, having as it were sacrificed his former body66 and attained the highest degree of nervous excitement, he is fit to sacrifice, and the ceremonies begin. This complicated, long-drawn-out initiation required for ceremonies of exceptional gravity is only, it is true, an amplification. But it is found, although in a less developed degree, in the preparatory rites for ordinary animal sacri- fice. In this case it is no longer necessary for the sacrifier to become divine, but he must still become sacred. For this reason here also he shaves himself, bathes, abstains from all sexual relationships, fasts and keeps vigil, etc. 6 7 And even for these more simple rites the interpretations that are given to them by the accompanying prayers and the Brahmanic commentaries clearly indicate their pur- ~ port. We read at the very beginning of the Shatapatha Brahmana, '[The sacrifierJ rinses his mouth. . . . For 21 The Scheme' of Sacrifice before this he is unfit for sacrifice. . . . For the waters are pure. He becomes pure within.. '. . He passes from the world of men into the world cif the gods.' 6 8 These rites are not peculiar to the Hindus: the Semitic ,world, Greece, and Rome also provide examples of them. A certain degree of relationship with the god is demanded first of all from those who wish to be admitted to the sacrifice. 6 9 Thus the stranger is generally excluded from it,70 and even more so courtesans,' slaves, 71 and often women. 72 Moreover, temporary purity is required. 78 The advent of the divinity is terrible for those that are im- pUre; 74 when Yahweh was about to appear on Sinai, the people had to wash their garments and remain chaste.75 In the same way the sacrifice is preceded by a more or less lengthy period of purification. 7 8 This consists principally of sprinklings with lustral water and ablutions. 7 7 Some- times the sacrifier must fast 78 and purge himself. 7 9 He must put on clean garments, 8 0 or even special ones81 which impart to him a fir~t touch of sanctity. Roman ritual also generally prescribed the wearing of the veil, the sign of separation and consequently of consecration. 82 The crown that the sacrifier wore on his head, whilst warding off evil spirits, marked him as having a sacred character. as Sometimes the sacrifier completed his physi- cal preparations by shaving his head and eyebrows. 84 All these purifications,86 lustrations, and consecrations pre- pared the profane participant for the sacred act, by eliminating from his body the imperfections of his secular nature, cutting him off from the common life, and intro- ducing him step by step into the sacred world of the gods. (2) The sacrificer. There are sacrifices in which there are no other participants than the sacrifier and the victim. . But generally. one does not venture to approach sacred ~z The'Scheme of Sacrifice things directly and alone; they are too lofty and serious a matter. An intermediary, or at the very least a guide, is necessary. a 6 This is the priest. More familiar with the world of the gods, in which he is partly involved through a previous consecration, a 7 he can approach it more closely and with less fear than the layman, who is perhaps sullied by unknown blemishes. At the same time he prevents the sacrifier from committing fatal errors. Sometimes the profane person is even formally I~xcluded from the sanc- tuary and the sacrifice. 8 8 In this case the priest becomes, on the one hand, the mandatory of the sacrifier, a 9 whose condition he sh~res and whose sins he bears. 90 On the other hand, however, he is sealed with a divine seal. 91 He bears the name,92 the title,93 or the robe94 of his god. He is his minister, even his incarnate presence,96 or at the very least the repository of his power. He is the visible agent of consecration in the sacrifice. In short, he stands oIl the threshold of the sacred and the profane world and represents them both at one and the same time. They are linked in him. Because of his religious character, it might be supposed that he at least can enter upon the sacrifice without any preliminary initiation. This is in fact what took place in India. The Brahmin appeared with a nature almost entirely divine. Thus he had no need for a special con- secration, save in extraordinary circumstances 9 6_ for there are rites that require a previous preparation by the sacrificer as well as by the sacrifier. This differs from that which we have described for the layman only inasmuch as it is generally less complex. As the priest is naturally nearer to the sacred world, simpler operations are enough to enable him to enter it completely. . Among the Hebrews, despite the fact that the priest C 25 The Scheme of Sacrifice was ordained, he had to take certaln extra precautIOns m order to be able to sacrifice. He had to wash before enter- in g the sanctuary. 9 7 Before the ceremony he had to d I . . d 9 B He P ut on abstain from wine and fermente IqUl s. . linen garments, 9 9 which he took ?ff immediately after the sacrifice.loo He laid these away m a consecrated place, for they had already become holy, fearfulobject~ ~hich h f t t C h 101 In hIs mter- were dangerous for t e pro ane 0 ou. . course with the divine-although this was habItual for him-the priest himself was perpetually under the threat ofthe supernatural deathl 02 that had struck down ~aron's two sons,lOS and those of Eli,104 as well as the prIests of the famHy of Baithos.l05 By increasing his personal sanc- tity,l 0 6 he made the difficult approach to the sanctuary easier, and safeguarded himself. . But he did not sanctify himself wholly for hIS own sake: he did so also on behalf of the person or society in whose nam€ he was acting. Because he exposed to danger not only himself but those whose delegate he ~as, he w~s obliged to take even greater precautions. ThIs was partI- cularly noticeable at the festival of the Great Pardon.lo 7, . Indeed, on that day the high priest represents the people of Israel. He seeks pardon for himself and for Israel-for himself and his family by the bullock, for Israel by the two goatS.10B Only after this expiation, a~d having. set light to the incense, does he penetrate behI~d the veIl of the Holy of Holies,l 0 9 where he finds G?d III the cl.oud. Such grave functions required very specIal ~reparat.IOns, as befitted the quasi-divine role that the prIest fulfIlled. Due allowance being made, the rites resemble those of the diksha discussed above. Seven days before the feast the high priest shuts himself off from his family,110 and remains in the cell of the paredri (the assessors).1l1 2+ The Scheme cif Sacrifice the Hindu sacrifier, he is the object of all sorts of atten- tions. The evening before, old men sit round and read to him the section of the Bible in which is laid down the ritual of Kippur. He is given little to eat. Then he is con- ducted into a special room,112 where he is left alone after having been adjured to change nothing in the rites. 'Then, both he and they weeping, they parted. '113 The whole night long he must stay awake,114 for sleep is a time during which defilements may unwittingly be con- tracted.1l5 Thus the entire pontifical rite tends toward the same purpose: to give the high priest an exceptional sanc- tity116 which will enable him to draw near to the god hidden behind the mercy-seat and to bear the burden of the sins that will be heaped upon his head. (3) The place, the instruments. For the sacrifice proper to begin, it is not enough for the sacrifier and the priest to be sanctified. It cannot take place at any time or any- where. For not all times of the day or year are equally propitious for ~acrifice; there are even times at which it must be ruled out. In Assyria, for example, it was for- bidden on the 7th, 14th, and 21st of the month.1l7 According to the nature and the purpose of the ceremony, the hour of celebration differed. Sometimes it had to be offered during the daytime;118 sometimes, on the other hand, during the evening or at night.119 The place of the ceremony rp.ust itself be sacred: out- side a holy place immolation i~imere murder.12o When the sacrifice is performed in a temple121 or in a place already sacred in itself, preliminary consecration is un- necessary or at least is very much shortened. This is the case with the Hebrew sacrifice as laid down in the ritual of the Pentateuch. It was celebrated in a single sanctuary consecrated beforehand,122 chosen by the divinity123 and 25 The Scheme of Sacr.ifice made divine by his presence.IU Thus the texts that have come down to us contain no provisions. relating to the repeated sanctifying oithe place of sacrifice. Nevertheless, the purity and sanctity of the temple and the sanctuary hC!.d to be maintained: daily sacrificesl25 and an annual cere~ mony of expiation were the means of fulfilling this need.12 6 The Hindus had no temple. Each could choose for him- self the place where he wished to sacrifice.l2 7 But this place had to be consecrated in advance by means of a certain number of rites, of which the most essential was the setting up of the fires.l28 We shall not describe it in detail. The complicated ceremonies of which it is made up have as their object the kindling of a fire in which only pure elements, already consecrated to Agni,12 9 will enter. One of these fires is even kindled by friction, so that it is entirely new.130 In these conditions there is a magical power which wards off evil spirits, harmful spells, alld devils. The fire is the slayer of demohs.131It is even more than this: it is the god, it is Agni in his complete form.132 In the same way, according to certain Biblical legends also, the fire of sacrifice is none other than the divinity itself, which consumes the victim, or, to put it more exactly, the fire is the sign of consecration which sets h on fire.133 What is divine in the fire of the Hindu sacrifice is thus transmitted to the place of sacrifice and conse- crates it.134 This site consisted of a fairly large!rect- angular space, caned the vihara.135 Within this area is another space called the vedi, whose sacred character is even more pronounced. This corresponds to the altar. Thus the vedi occupies a position even more central than the fires. These, indeed, contrary to what is the case in most other cults, are not on the altar itself, but surround it.13 6 The outline of the vedi i$ 26 The Scheme of Sacrifice carefully marked outon the ground;13 7 to do this a spade is taken–or in other cases, the magical wooden sword–' and the earth is lightly touched with it, with the words 'The wicked one is killed.'13 8 By this all impurity is destroyed; the magic circle is traced out, the site is con- secrated. Within the boundaries thus delimited, the ground is dug and levelled; the hole formed in this way constitutes the altar. After a lustration that is both ex- piatory and purificatory the bottom of the hole is covered with different kinds of turf. It is on this turf that the gods to whom the sacrifice is addressed come and sit. there , , invisible yet present, they attend the ceremony.13 9 We shall not describe in detail the various instru- ments140 which are laid upon the altar,141 after having been either made ad hoc or carefully purified. But one of them must claim our attention, for it really forms part of the altar.142 This is the yupa, the stake to which the animal is to be bound. It is not a piece of rough wood, but the tree from which it was hewn had already in itself a divine nature,143 which unctions and libations have fur- ther reinforced.144 It also occupies a prominent position, for it is there that the victim will stand, the most im- portant of all the visible personages that will take part in the ceremony.U5 Therefore the Brahmanas represent it as one of the points at which all the religious forces that are in operation in the sacrifice converge and are con- centrated. By its slender trunk, it recalls the manner in which the gods mounted up to heaven;] 4 6 by its upper section it gives power over heavenly things, by its middle part, over the things of the air, by its lower part, over those of the .earth.14 7 But at the same time it represents the sacrifier. It is the height of the sacrifier that deter- mines its dimensions.14 B When it is anointed, the sacrifier 27 The Scheme of Sacrifice is anointed; when it is made firm, it is the sacrifier that is strengthened.1u In it takes place, in a more marked manner than in the priest, that communication, that fusion of the gods and the sacrifier, which will become even more marked in the victim.150 The scene is now s'e1. The actors are ready. The entry of the victim will mark the beginning of the drama. But before introducing it, we must point ou t an essential characteristic of the sacrifice: the perfect continuity that is h . h b 151 necessary to it. From the moment t at It as egun, it must continue to the end without interruption and in the ritual order. All the operations of which it is com- posed must follow each other in turn without a break. The forces at work, if they are not directed in exactly the way prescribed, elude both sacrifier and priest and turn upon them in a terrible fashion.152 Even this outward continuity of the rites is not enough.153 There must also be a like constancy in the mental state of sacrifier and sacrificer, concerning the gods, the victim, and the prayer that one wants answered.l54 They must have unshake" able confidence in the automatic result of the sacrifice. In short, a religious act must be accomplished in a religious frame of mind: the inward attitude must correspond to the external one.155 We see how, from the very outset, sacrifice demanded a credo (shraddha is the equivalent of credo, even philologically), and how the act carried faith with it.156 . THE VICTIM We said above that in the Hindu rite the construction o~ the altar consists in describing a magic circle on the ground. In reality all the operations we have just con- sidered have the same purpose. They consist in tracing 28 The Scheme of Sacrifice out a kind of series of concentric magic ciicles within the sacred area. In the outer circle stands the sacrifier; then come in turn the priest, the altar, and the stake. On the perimeter, where stands the layman on whose behalf the sacrifice takes place, the religious atmosphere is weak and minimal. It increases as the space in which it is developed grows smaller. ,The whole activity of the place of sacrifice is thus organized and concentrated round a single focus. Everything converges on the victim who is now about to appear. Everything is ready for its reception. It is broiight in. Sometimes it was consecrated by the mere fact of its birth: the species to which it belonged was joined to the divinity by speciallinks.15 7 Having thus a divine charac- ter by nature, it did not need to acquire one specially for the occasion. But, more usually, fixed rites were neces- sary to confer upon it the religious condition that its destined role demanded, In certain cases where it had been marked out long before, these ceremonies had taken place before it was brought to the place of sacrifice.15 8 But often at that moment it still had nothing sacred about it. It was merely in a state to fulfil certain conditions that made it eligible to receive consecration. It had to be with- out defect, sickness, or infirmity. 15 9 It had to be of a certain colour,16o age, and sex, according to the result to be brought abouL161 But to bring this general aptitude into action, to raise it to the required level of religiosity, the victim had to submit to a whole gamut of ceremonies. In certain countries it was dressed up,162 painted or whitened, like the bas cretatus of Roman sacrifices. Its horns were gilded,l63 a crown was placed upon it, it was bedecked with ribbons.164 These adornments imparted to it a religious character. Sometimes even the costume that 29 The Scheme of Sacnf£ce was put on it brought it closer to the god who presided over the sacrifice: this was the purpose of the disguises used in the agrarian sacrifices, of which traces only remain.166 The semi-consecration thus conferred upon it could moreover be obtained in another way. In Mexico16 6 and at Rhodes1 6 7 the victim was made drunk. This drunkenness was a sign of possession. The divine spirit was already pervading the victim. But the Hindu ritual will enable us to follow more closely the whole series of operations in the course of which the victim is progressively made divine. After it has been bathed,16 8 it is brought in, whilst various liba- tions are made.16 9 It is then addressed, laudatory epithets being heaped upon it, and it is exhorted to keep calm.l7 0 At the same time the god who is the lord of the animals is invoked, in order to ask him to agree to the use of his property as a victim.171 These precautions, propitiations, and marks of honour serve a dual purpose. Firstly, they acknowledge the sacred character of the victim: by being termed something excellent, the property of the gods, it becomes so. But above all it must be persuaded to allow itself to be sacrificed peaceably, for the welfare of men, and not to take vengeance once it is dead. These usages, which are extremely frequent,172 do not signify, as has been said, that the beast sacrificed is always a forme~ totemic animal. The explanation lies closer at hand. There is in the victim a spirit which it is the very aim of the sacrifice to liberate. This spirit must therefore be conciliated, for otherwise it might become dangerous when freed; hence the flattery and preliminary apologies. Then the victim is bound to the stake. At that momeDt the sacred character it is in the act of acquiring is already so great that the Brahmin can no longer touch it with 50 The Scheme of Sacrif£ce his hands, and the sacrifier himself hesitates to approach it. He must be invited to do so, and encouraged by a special formula addressed to him by a priest.173 Yet, in order to develop this religiosity, already so intense, to the utmost extent, three series of rites are required. The animal is given water to drink,l?4 for water is divine; its body is lustrated above, beneath, and on every part.l 7 5 Then it is anointed with melted butter on the head then , on the withers, the shoulders, the croup, and between the horns. These anointings correspond to those which were made with oil in Hebrew sacrifice, to the ceremony of the mola salsa in Rome, or to the OUAOc( or barley grains that in Greece the bystanders threw upon the animal.l7 6 Like- wise, almost everywhere are to be found libations analo- gous to those of which we have just spoken. They had as their purpose to heap sanctity on the victim. Lastly, after these lustrations and anointings there comes in the Vedic ritual a final ceremony whose effect is to enclose the victim itself in a final magic circle, smaller and more divine than the others. From the fire of the gods a priest plucks a brand, and with it in his hand walks three times round the animal. This circumambulation took place in India round all the victims, with or without fire. It was the god Agni who surrounded the animal on all sides , consecrated it, and set it apart. I 7 7 Yet, even while continuing to move onward into the , world of the gods, the victim had to remain in touch with mankind. In the religions we are considering here, the ,means used to ensure this contact are provided by the yprinciples of magical and religious sympathy. Sometimes ,there is a direct and natural representation: a father is ;,represented by his son, whom he sacrifices, etc.178 In ~'general, since a sacrifier is always obliged to undertake 31 The Scheme if Sacrifice The Scheme if Sacrifice the expenses in person, there is, by virtue ofthisvery fact, it, thereby making the consecration definitive and a Inore or less complete representation. I 7 9 But in other irrevocable. This is the solemn moment. cases this association of the victim and the sacrifier is That which now begins is a crime, a kind of sacrilege. brought about by a physical contact between the sacrifier So, while the victim was being led to the place of (sometimes the priest) and the victim. This contact is slaughter, some rituals prescribed libations and expia- obtained, in Semitic ritual, by the laying on of hands, and tions.183 Excuses were made for the act that was about to in others by equivalent rites.18 0 Through this proximity be carried out, the death of the animal was lamented,lS4 the victim, who already represents the gods, comes to one wept for it as one would weep for a relative. Its par- represent the sacrifier also. Indeed, it is not enough to say don was asked before it was struck down. The rest of the that it represents him: it is merged in him. The two per- species to which it belonged wet~ harangued, as if they sonalities are fused together. At least in the Hindu ritual were one vast family, entreated not to avenge the wrong this identification even becomes so complete that from about to be done them in the person of one of their num- then onwards the future fate of the victim, its imminent ber.185 Under the influence of these same ideasl86 the death, has a kind of reverse effect upon the sacrifier. instigator of the slaughter might be punished by beat- Hence an ambiguous situation results for the latter. He ingl87 or exile. At Athens the priest at the sacrifice of the needs to touch the animal in order to remain united with Bouphonia fled, casting his axe away. All those who had it, and yet is afraid to do so, for in so doing he runs the " taken part in the sacrifice were called to the Prytaneion. risk of sharing its fate. The ritual resolves the difficulty . ~ They threw the blame upon each other. Finally, the knife by taking a middle course. The sacrifier touches thevic- was condemned and thrown into the sea.18 8 The purifica- tim only through the priest, who himself only touches it tions which the sacrificer had to undergo after the sacri- through the intermediary of one of the instruments of ..~ flce resembled moreover the expiation of a criminal.189 sacrifice.181 Thus this process of drawing together the So, once the beast is placed in the prescribed position sacred and the profane, which we have seen come about~; and turned in the direction laid down in the rites,l 9 0 progressively through the various elements of the sacri~ '.~ everyone keeps silence. In India the priests turn round; fice, is completed in the victim. il The sacrifier and the officiating priest also turn round,191 We have now arrived at the culminating point ofthe*, murmuring propitiatory mantras.192 Nothing is to be ceremony. All the elements of the sacrifice are nowi'! heard save the orders given in a simple voice by the priest present; they have been brought into contact for the last 'it .the sacrifier. The latter then tightens the bond that time. But the supreme act remains to be accomplished.18ls , encircles the neck of the animal,193 and 'quietens its The victim is already sanctified to an extreme degree. But~ ,; breath ',194 as the euphemism employed has it. The the spirit residing in it, the divine principle which it nOW);i is dead; the spirit has departed. contains, is still pent up in its body and attached by this;~ The rites of slaughter were extremely variable. But last link to the world of profane things. Death will release,~ cult insisted that they be scrupulously observed. To 52 . 55 The Scheme of Sacrifice The Scheme of Sacrifice modify them was generally a fatal heresy, punishable by Through this act of destruction the essential action of excommunication and death.1s 5 This was because the act the sacrifice was accomplished. The victim was separated of slaughter released an ambiguous force-or rather a definitively from the profane world; it was consecrated, blind one terrible by the very fact that it was a force. It it was sacrified, in the etymological sense of the word, ' . therefore had to be limited, directed, and tamed; thIS and various languages gave the name sanctificCltl'on to was what the rites were for. Most usually the nape of the the act that brought that condition about. The victim victim's neck, or the neck itself, was severed.1s 6 Stoning changed its nature, as did Demophoon, as did Achilles, as was an ancient rite that no longer took place in Judaea did the son of the king of Byblos, when Demeter, Thetis, except in certain cases of penal execution, or in Greece and Isis consumed their humanity in the fire.206 Its except as a token in the ritual of some festivals.19 7 Else- death was like that of the phoenix: 2 0 7 it was reborn where the victim was knocked senseless1s 8 or hanged,19 9 sacred. But the phenomenon that occurred at that So serious an operation could not be accompanied by too moment had another aspect. If on the one hand the many precautions. For the most part it was wished that spirit was released, if it had passed completely 'behind d~1h-.showcl be pro~pt, and the passage of the victi~ the veil' into the world of the gods, the body of the from its earthly life to its divine one was hastened so as animal on the other hand remained visible and tangible. not to leave evil influences ti~~ to. vitiate thesaCt1[~ial And it too, by the fact of consecration, was filled with a act.. If the animal's cries were held to be bad omens, an: sacred force that excluded it from the profane world, attempt was made to stifle or prevent them.aoo Often, in In short, the sacrificed victim resembled the 'de~d whose order to avoid any possible deviations once consecration souls dwelt at one and the same time in the other world had taken place, the attempt was made to control the and in the corpse. Thus its remains were treated with a effusion of the consecrated blood. 2 01 Care was taken that religious respect: 208 honours were paid to them. Th e it fell only on a favourable spot,aoa or things were so slaughter thus left a sacred matter behind it, and it was arranged that not a single drop of it was shed.203 Some- this, as we shall now see, that served to procure the use- times, however, these precautions were considered un-: ful effects of the sacrifice. For this purpose it was sub- necessary. At Methydrion in Arcadia the rite ordained mitted to a double series of operations. What survived of that the victim should be torn to pieces. a 04 There might. the animal was attributed entirely to the sacred world, even be an advantage in prolonging its agony.20S Slow,.: attributed entirely to the profane world, or shared death, like sudden death, could lighten the responsibility; '. between the two. ofthe sacrificer. For reasons already explained, the rituals r The attribution 'to the sacred world, whether to pro- were ingenious in discovering attenuating circumstances..tecting divinities or to maleficent spirits, was brought The rites were simpler when only flour or cakes were. about by differing procedures. One of these consisted in sacrificed instead of an animal. The oblation was cast 'bringing certain parts of the animal's body into contact wholly or partially into the fire'jWith the altar of the god, or with some objects which were 54 ' 35 The Scheme of Sacrifice The Scheme of Sacrifice especially consecrated to him. In the Hebrew hattat for When the god intervened in the sacrifice he was con- Yom Kippur, as described in the opening verses of Levi- sidered as consuming materially and in reality the sacri- ticus chap. iv,209 the sacrificer soaks his finger in the ficedflesh:itwas'hismeat'.224TheHomericpoemsshow blood which is presented to him. He sprinkles it seven us the gods seated at the sacrificial banquets.225 The times before Yahweh, that is, on the veil, and smears a cooked flesh reserved for the god226 was presented to him little blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense, and set before him. The god was to consume it. In the within the sanctuary.210 The rest was poured at the foot Bible on several occasions the divine fire spurts forth and of the altar of the 'olah which stood at the entrance. In consumes the flesh lying upon the altar.227 the ordinary hattat the priest smeared the blood on the From the flesh that was left over from this preliminary horns of the altar of the 'olah.211 The blood of the victims destruction, other portions were taken away. The priest of the 'olah and the shelamim was simply poured out at' took his share. 2'2 S Now the share of the priest was still the foot of the altar.212 Elsewhere the sacred stone or the' considered a divine share. The writers of the Pentateuch face of the god was daubed with it.213 In Greece, at the were concerned to know whether the victim of the hattat sacrifices to the water-gods, the blood was allowed to was to be burnt or eaten by the priests; according to Levi- flow into the water;214 or after having been collected in a ticus229 Moses and the sons of Aaron were in disagree- goblet, it was poured into the sea.215 When the victim ment on this point. Clearly, the two rites had thus the had been skinned, the idol might be dressed in the skin. 218 same meaning. 2 so In the same way, in the Roman rites This rite was particularly observed in ceremonies at which of expiation the priests ate the flesh.231 In the zebah a sacred animal was sacrificed, no matter what form was shelamz'm the priests kept for themselves the parts given to the idol. 217 In any case, the victim that had been especially presented to Yahweh-the shoulder and the killed was presented just as he had been presented before breast,232 the tenu1!hah and thel (erumah. The portions the consecration.21s In the 'olah the assistants, having, reserved for the pnests could be eaten only by them and cut up the victim into pieces, bear them with the head! their families, in a sacred place.233 The Greek texts con- to the officiating priest, who places them upon the.t~ tain much information, no less precise in nature, con- altar.219 In the ritual of the shelamim the portions pre.;.';,! eerning the portions of the victims and the oblations sented received significant names: terumah, the raised:,yeserved for the sacrificers.234 Sometimes, it is true, the offering, tenuphah, the 'turned' offering.22oiv IJ. rites appear to be not very exacting; thus the priests take Another method was incineration. In all the [email protected]:;, ,:~their portions home with them; money is made from the sacrifices, in the same way as the blood was completely'i~ _

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