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Collins: The Head Beneath the Altar

Collins, Brian:
The Head Beneath the Altar : Hindu Mythology and the Critique of Sacrifice / Brian Collins. - East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, 2014. - x, 310 S. - (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, and Culture)
ISBN 978-1-61186-116-7
US$ 24,95
DDC: 294.534

In the beginning, says the ancient Hindu text the Rg Veda, was man. And from man’s sacrifice and dismemberment came the entire world, including the hierarchical ordering of human society. The Head Beneath the Altar is the first book to present a wide-ranging study of Hindu texts read through the lens of René Girard’s mimetic theory of the sacrificial origin of religion and culture. For those interested in Girard and comparative religion, the book also performs a careful reading of Girard’s work, drawing connections between his thought and the work of theorists like Georges Dumézil and Giorgio Agamben. Brian Collins examines the idea of sacrifice from the earliest recorded rituals through the flowering of classical mythology and the ancient Indian institutions of the duel, the oath, and the secret warrior society. He also uncovers implicit and explicit critiques in the tradition, confirming Girard’s intuition that Hinduism offers an alternative anti-sacrificial worldview to the one contained in the gospels. [Verlagsinformation]

Acknowledgments. ix
Introduction. 1
Rivalries. 43
Priests and Kings, Oaths and Duels. 83
Epic Variations on a Mimetic Theme. 137
Meaning: The Secret Heart of the Sacred. 181
Yajñānta: The End of Sacrifice. 237
Notes. 253
Bibliography. 287
Index. 303

BRIAN COLLINS holds the Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy at Ohio University. Profile page. profile.

Quellen: Michigan State University Press; WorldCat; Bookbutler; Library of Congress
Bildquelle: Michigan State University Press
Bibliographie: [1]


  1. Collins, Brian (2014).  The Head Beneath the Altar: Hindu Mythology and the Critique of Sacrifice. Studies in Violence, Mimesis, and Culture. x, 310 S.