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Göteborgs universitets publikationer

Violence and Sacrifice in Evolutionary Anthropology: A Reading of J. G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough through Theology of Liberation

Författare och institution:
Patricia Lorenzoni (Institutionen för globala studier, iberoamerikanska institutet)
Publicerad i:
Ideas in History, 4 ( 1 ) s. 11-35
Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig
Sammanfattning (abstract):
The article reads the figure of human sacrifice in J. G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough (GB) from the perspective of the contradiction arising in an evolutionary anthropology dependent on military imperial expansion, while articulating a notion of modern civilisation as a break with the principle of violence. Violence is associated by Frazer with supposedly earlier stages of evolution, not least in the notion of the other as still sacrificing. I relate Frazer’s notions of sacrifice and of a ‘savage’ always in the process of vanishing, to theologian Franz Hinkelammert’s analysis of how the other has historically been depicted in Occidental imaginary as the one still sacrificing. Being the one still sacrificing, the savage is the one that has to be sacrificed so that a world liberated from the principle of human sacrifices can realise itself. The notion of the vanishing savage thus both legitimates colonial violence and surrounds it with silence by depicting its outcome as the result of evolutionary laws rather than violence. However, because of the fear of a fallback into savagery, constantly present in Frazer’s text, savagery appears as a version of Freud’s unheimlich: it is what should be dead but is not. As such, I argue, it should be read as a reminder of that colonial violence of which Frazer will not speak.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Filosofi, etik och religion ->
Religionsvetenskap ->
Filosofi, etik och religion ->
Idé- o lärdomshistoria
History of Anthropology, Theology of Liberation, Post-Colonial Theory, Frazer, Hinkelammert
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2009-11-04 15:46

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