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Payback
The Logic of Retribution in Melanesian Religions

£46.99

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

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About the Authors
  • Near to the heart of the human predicament are impulses to avenge - what most of us will recognize to be negative, counterproductive reactions against others who pose a threat. By contrast, nothing re-establishes our faith in humanity more than extraordinary acts of concession, such as peace-making, generosity and sacrifice. In this study Garry 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 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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    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
    Preface
    Abbreviations
    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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