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Violence and the Sacred in the Ancient Near East
Girardian Conversations at Çatalhöyük

$120.00 (C)

  • Editor: Ian Hodder, Stanford University, California
Ian Hodder, William A. Johnsen, Wolfgang Palaver, Christopher J. Knüsel, Bonnie Glencross, Marco Milella, Lee Clare, Oliver Dietrich, Julia Gresky, Jens Notroff, Joris Peters, Nadja Pöllath, Mark Anspach, Benoît Chantre, James Alison, Jean-Pierre Dupuy
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  • Date Published: April 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108476027

$ 120.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This volume brings together two groups engaged with understanding the relationships between religion and violence. The first group consists of scholars of the mimetic theory of René Girard, for whom human violence is rooted in the rivalry that stems from imitation. To manage this violence of all against all, humans often turn to violence against one, the scapegoat, thereafter incorporated into ritual. The second group consists of archaeologists working at the Neolithic sites of Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. At both sites there is evidence of religious practices that center on wild animals, often large and dangerous in form. Is it possible that these wild animals were ritually killed in the ways suggested by Girardian theorists? Were violence and the sacred intimately entwined and were these the processes that made possible and even stimulated the origins of farming in the ancient Near East? In this volume, Ian Hodder and a team of contributors seek to answer these questions by linking theory and data in exciting new ways.

    • Proposes a new view of human society in which tensions within religion generate change
    • Links archaeology with the Mimetic Theory
    • Provides new insight into two fascinating and iconic sites - Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108476027
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Setting the archaeological scene Ian Hodder
    2. Introduction to the thought of René Girard William A. Johnsen
    Part II. Violence and the Sacred:
    3. Death in Çatalhöyük Wolfgang Palaver
    4. A Girardian framework for violent injuries at Neolithic Çatalhöyük in their Western Asian context Christopher J. Knüsel, Bonnie Glencross and Marco Milella
    5. Ritual practices and conflict mitigation at Early Neolithic Körtik Tepe and Göbekli Tepe, Upper Mesopotamia: a mimetic theoretical approach Lee Clare, Oliver Dietrich, Julia Gresky, Jens Notroff, Joris Peters and Nadja Pöllath
    6. Paired leopards and encircled prey: images of rivalry and sacrifice at Çatalhöyük Mark Anspach
    Part III. The Dialectics of Mimesis:
    7. Mimetic theory, the wall paintings, and the domestication, de-domestication, and sacrifice of cattle at Çatalhöyük William A. Johnsen
    8. The ordeal of the town. Rites and symbols at Çatalhöyük Benoît Chantre
    9. Stretching Girard's hypothesis: road marks for a long-term perspective James Alison
    10. Girard's anthropology vs. cognitive archaeology Jean-Pierre Dupuy
    Part IV. Conclusion:
    11. Religion as a factor in the development of settled life Ian Hodder.

  • Editor

    Ian Hodder, Stanford University, California
    Ian Hodder is Dunleavie Family Professor of Archaeology at Stanford University. A Fellow of the British Academy, he has received numerous awards for his accomplishments, including the Oscar Montelius Medal from the Swedish Society of Antiquaries, the Huxley Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Fyssen International Prize, and the Gold Medal by the Archaeological Institute of America, along with honorary doctorates from the Bristol and Leiden Universities. Hodder is the author of numerous books, including Symbols in Action (Cambridge, 1982), Reading the Past (Cambridge, 1982), and Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things (2012).


    Ian Hodder, William A. Johnsen, Wolfgang Palaver, Christopher J. Knüsel, Bonnie Glencross, Marco Milella, Lee Clare, Oliver Dietrich, Julia Gresky, Jens Notroff, Joris Peters, Nadja Pöllath, Mark Anspach, Benoît Chantre, James Alison, Jean-Pierre Dupuy

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