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Religion and the Philosophy of Life$
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Gavin Flood

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198836124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198836124.001.0001

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(p.94) 3 Sacrifice
Religion and the Philosophy of Life

Gavin Flood

Oxford University Press

The affirmation of life through a culture of hunting was a major element in early human practices, but with the Neolithic farming revolution, we have new modes of producing food and new kinds of societies that could be much larger; the first urban landscapes beginning to appear in places such as Jericho, along with the emergence of religion characterized by sacrifice. While the origins of sacrifice are obscure, sacrifice is a category central to our understanding of religion and of human cultural life generally. Sacrifice has had a central place in the history of civilizations as an attempt at human self-repair and bringing people into a fullness of life, attempting to fulfil the desire for life itself and to go beyond death.

Keywords:   sacrifice, hunting, Palaeolithic, Neolithic, civilization, renunciation, consumption

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