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Sacrifice and Modern Thought$
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Julia Meszaros and Johannes Zachhuber

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659289

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659289.001.0001

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Human Sacrifice and Two Imaginative Worlds, Aztec and Christian

Human Sacrifice and Two Imaginative Worlds, Aztec and Christian

Finding God in Evil

(p.180) 12 Human Sacrifice and Two Imaginative Worlds, Aztec and Christian
Sacrifice and Modern Thought

David Brown

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the human sacrifices of the Aztecs from a Christian theological point of view. The question then is what such cultural practice can tell us about the relationship between God’s governance and care for the world and the presence of evil in it. From a Western perspective, there frequently is a tendency to consider the evil within the Christian tradition as an accidental element of something that is inherently good and take evil practices in other cultures as evidence of their wrong-headedness. By contrast, this text seeks to discover God in Aztec human sacrifice. To this end, it argues that even such a religious practice could become a vehicle of religious experience. This view becomes plausible once the religious world-view of the Aztecs as expressed in their poetry is taken seriously.

Keywords:   Aztecs, human sacrifice, evil, religious experience, God, Aztec religion, Aztec poetry

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