Synopses & Reviews
The principle of sacrifice is as old as human life itself. Human, animal or inanimate offerings were an essential part of an effort to handle natural disasters, secure good luck or good health, ensure success in war or commerce, in fact to produce any outcome that could better life on Earth. This work provides a general, illustrated overview of sacrificial practices around the world from prehistoric times to the present day. Human sacrifice is shown to have been common to civilizations as different as Ancient Greece and preHispanic Mexico; animal sacrifice is traced through biblical times to modern-day voodoo; inanimate offerings, such as flowers, grain or possessions, are seen to be common to many societies and religions from native Americans to Hinduism. The reasons behind these rituals are examined, and in the case of human sacrifice an attempt is made to understand the mentality of the "victims" who often willingly went to their deaths.
Sacrifice -- whether human, animal, or object -- has been practiced for thousands of years. Brenda Ralph Lewis examines the reasons behind these rituals and attempts to convey the mentality of the often-willing victims.