Sacrifice in Modernity: Community, Ritual, Identity

From Nationalism and Nonviolence to Health Care and Harry Potter


Sacrifice seems to belong to a religious context of the past. In Sacrifice in Modernity: Community, Ritual, Identity it is demonstrated how sacrificial themes remain an essential element in our post-modern society. The shaping of community, performing rituals and the search for identity, three main characteristics of traditional sacrifice, are dynamics of our modern times as well which cannot be understood without sacrificial awareness. This is demonstrated in such areas as the German poet Hölderlin, Harry Potter, martyrdom, the Twilight Saga, the Japanese writer Endo, Tarkovsky, movies and more.
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Joachim Duyndam PhD (1954) is Professor of Humanism and Philosophy at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands. His publications discuss from an hermeneutical philosophical perspective, themes and questions on humanism, mimesis, resilience, empathy - among others.

Anne-Marie Korte PhD (1957) is Professor of Religion, Gender & Modernity at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. She has published extensively in the field of religion and gender.

Marcel Poorthuis PhD (1955) is Professor Interreligous Dialogue at Tilburg University teaches interreligious dialogue at the Tilburg School of Theology in the Netherlands. He has published about Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism and recently about Dutch perceptions of Islam in Van harem tot fitna, Nijmegen 2011. His recent publications deal with Jewish and Christian sources of Islam.


Introduction - Sacrifice in Modernity: Community, Ritual, Identity

Part I – Sacrifice and Community

The Kapsiki Home Sacrifice
Walter E.A. van Beek

Pro Patria Mori: Sacrificing Life in Service of the Political Community
Theo W.A. de Wit

Self-Sacrifice and the Other(s): Reflections on Andrei Tarkovksy’s The Sacrifice
Frederiek Depoortere

“Das Opfertier das nicht vergebens fällt”: The Meaning of Sacrifice in Friedrich Hölderlin's Der Tod des Empedokles
Rebecca Prevoo & Joachim Duyndam

The Nonviolent Sacrifice: The Role of Tapasya in Nonviolence
Saskia van Goelst Meijer

Part II – Sacrifice and Ritual

Through Fire: Creative Aspects of Sacrificial Rituals in the Vedic-Hindu Continuum
Albertina Nugteren

Sacrifice in Early Christianity: The Social Dimensions of a Metaphor
Gerard Rouwhorst

Ritual Slaughter, Religious Plurality and the Secularization of Dutch Society (1919-2011)
Bart Wallet

Towards a Grown-Up Faith: Love as the Basis for Harry Potter’s Self-Sacrifice
Sigrid Coenradie

Sacrificial Scripts: Blood Values and Gender in the Twilight Vampire Narrative
Grietje Dresen

Sacrificing Judith
Anne-Mareike Wetter

Part III – Sacrifice and Identity

Sacrifice and Islamic Identity
Abdelilah Ljamai

Sacrifice – Action within a Relationship: A Phenomenology of Sacrifice
Claudia Mariéle Wulf

Self-sacrifice between constraint and redemption
Marcel J.H.M. Poorthuis

Religion, Suffering and Female Heroism: Transformations in the Meaning of Sacrifice in a Catholic Conversion Movement.
Marjet Derks

Self-Sacrifice and Care Ethics
Inge van Nistelrooij

Animal Substitution as a Reversed Sacrifice: An Intertextual Reading of Genesis 22 and the Animal Stories of Shusaku Endo
Sigrid Coenradie

The Fruits of Dissent and the Operationalization of Faith: A Midrashic Reading of the Aqedah
Elliot Lyons


Fascination of Sacrifice
Kathryn McClymond

All those interested in religion and sacrificial topics in a post-modern context, as well as those interested in sacrificial philosophies and literary themes about sacrifice, e.g. in Harry Potter, Twilight Saga and Endo.
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