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The Logic of Retribution in Melanesian Religions

$61.99 (C)

  • Date Published: May 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521062770

$ 61.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this ambitious study, the first monograph on religion and "the logic of retribution," Professor Trompf shows how various aspects of "payback," both negative and positive, provide the best indices to an understanding of Melanesian views of life. The book explores the reasons why people "pay back" and opens up a whole new dimension in the cross-cultural study of human consciousness. The author conducts his readers through the most complex anthropological pageant on earth, illustrating his arguments from western New Guinea to Fiji.

    • The first monograph on religion and 'the logic of retribution' ever written
    • Opens up a whole new dimension in the cross-cultural study of human consciousness
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "In this fascinating book, Trompf brings to fruition fifteen years of unstinting research on religion in the southwest Pacific region....Trompf's breadth of erudition and bound to stir fresh and stimulating debate, not only because it interprets the world of Melanesian retributive logics but also because it takes on the task of changing them." History of Religions

    "Trompf pointedly rebukes materialist theories of human behavior and also notions of primitive irrationality....The volume combines an extraordinary, even numbing, assortment of ethnographic detail with a simple, unitary, explanatory premise." Lamont Lindstrom, The Contemporary Pacific

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521062770
    • length: 568 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.79kg
    • contains: 23 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Illustrations and tables
    Preliminaries: the theory of retributive logic
    Part I. 'Tradition':
    1. Revenge
    2. Reciprocity
    3. Integrating and explaining significant events
    Part II. 'Cargo Cultism':
    4. Reprisal
    5. Redemption
    6. Wishing and explaining the extraordinary
    Part III. 'Modernization':
    7. Recrimination - in 'modern' guises
    8. Making money and modernizing reciprocities
    9. Money, morals, meaning: old logics, new retributions?
    Conclusions and recommendations: Bibliography
    Index of Melanesian cultures
    General index.

  • Author

    G. W. Trompf, University of Sydney

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