Marcel Mauss – Manna and Mana

Posted: February 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

This classic essay by Hubert and Mauss was both an early contribution to Durkheim’s struggle to establish an academic discipline studying social phenomena and, for the authors, the start of a collaborative study of religious phenomena. A summary is offered of the very dense argument, which concentrates on comparing animal sacrifice in Vedic India and early Judaism.

First written by Marcel Mauss and Henri Humbert in 1902, A General Theory of Magic gained a wide new readership when republished by Mauss in 1950. As a study of magic in ‘primitive’ societies and its survival today in our thoughts and social actions, it represents what Claude Lévi-Strauss called, in an introduction to that edition, the astonishing modernity of the mind of one of the century’s greatest thinkers

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