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Bridges

Edmund Leach

15 July 1982
Myth, Religion and Society: Structuralist Essays 
by M. Detienne, L. Gernet, J-P. Vernant and P. Vidal-Naquet, edited by R.L. Gordon.
Cambridge/Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 306 pp., £20, January 1982, 0 521 22780 1
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The Anthropological Circle: Symbol, Function, History 
by Marc Augé.
Cambridge/Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 131 pp., £12.50, January 1982, 0 521 23236 8
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... from the fact that they are products of the same international publishing enterprise, and that they are both translations from the French, there is not much that these two books have in common, so my comments will be seriatim. The earliest of the essays in the Gordon collection, which is by Gernet, who died in 1962 at the age of 80, first appeared as long ago as 1948; the remainder at various ...

Mythology in Bits

Tim Whitmarsh: Ancient Greek ‘Religion’

20 December 2018
The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion 
edited by Esther Eidinow and Julia Kindt.
Oxford, 736 pp., £30, December 2017, 978 0 19 881017 9
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... speculation. The second is Fred Naiden’s chapter on animal sacrifice. The dominant explanations in the 20th century were those of Walter Burkert, on the one hand, and Jean-Pierre Vernant and Marcel Detienne, on the other. Burkert explained sacrifice in terms of collective psychology and human evolution, seeing the ritual as a relic of guilt at the killing of other beings and a technique for managing ...

Magic Zones

Marina Warner

8 December 1994
Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilisation 
by Richard Sennett.
Faber, 413 pp., £25, October 1994, 9780571173907
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... the most violent scenes in contemporary slasher and horror films excite from young spectators express their ‘gut reactions’ – the response of the flesh, their continuing capacity to wince. I’m not taking the argument so far as to say that Full Metal Jacket sensitises the body to empathy with others’ destruction, but that the question whether it numbs and dulls remains open. Not averting ...

Zeus Be Nice Now

James Davidson: Ancient Cults

19 July 2007
Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum 
Getty, 3014 pp., $1,215, March 2007, 978 0 89236 787 0Show More
Polytheism and Society at Athens 
by Robert Parker.
Oxford, 544 pp., £27.50, March 2007, 978 0 19 921611 6
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... on their gods, I managed to get through twenty years of formal study of them without being taught anything, unless parenthetically, about their beliefs and cult practices. I am pretty sure I got my degree without even a basic understanding of what a sacrifice entailed. Only at the very tail-end of my training, in the early 1990s, did I stumble on a graduate seminar on the subject of religion ...

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