A discussion of Western notions of 'sacrifice' can benefit from descriptions of non-Western understandings of 'sacrifice', in the sense that non-Western understandings of 'sacrifice' introduce aspects and dimensions into the debate that may not have been fully taken into account so far. In order to find out whether the Indian (Brahminical) case confirms Western scholarly theories of religious sacrifice, ideas and practices regarding sacrifice in the Mahābhārata epic and in the Bhagavadgītā will be confronted with several of these theories, in particular some current in cultural anthropology and religious studies which focus on gift exchange, self-sacrifice or violence. A conjectural conclusion as to why human beings sacrifice in general will be drawn at the very end of this essay in comparative religion. © Walter de Gruyter 2008.
|Journal||Neue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|