The Orifice as Sacrificial Site: Culture, Organization and the Body (Sociological Imagination & Structural Change Series)

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9780202306735: The Orifice as Sacrificial Site: Culture, Organization and the Body (Sociological Imagination & Structural Change Series)
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The Orifice as Sacrificial Site bases its argument on expert histories and primary documents of selected religions. Although based on textual analysis and documentary evidence this is essentially a social study. The goal of Aho's study is to discover explanatory principles of orifice management, rather than to expound on the peculiarities of individual faiths. The work locates the attributes religions share, instead of the qualities that differentiate them. The argument of the book is that these preeminently private sites are in reality "publicly accomplished." The most secret reaches of our personal geographies, our orifices, are products of more encompassing structural circumstances, of which we have only a dim grasp. Thus, one can speak with appropriate caution, of a prototypical "Jewish mouth," and of a uniquely different "Christian mouth"; of orthodox "Brahmanic genitals" and of their diametric opposites, "tantric genitals." The task of this fascinating study is to elucidate the nature of these mysterious precincts and, above all, to demonstrate how they have come to acquire the special qualities they do. In order to do this, the author examines the prophetic moment of a people's cultural ethos, the circumstances surrounding that point in time during which their dominant faith acquired its characteristic "orifice signature"; and second, to the organizational matters concerning that faith, its boundary concerns, internal hierarchies and disputes, and the external market situation. The author aims to show how the social regulation of bodily orifices is, if not mechanically determined, at least made understandable in light of religious and theological concerns. These are examined through a social science lens that offers amply illustrated, detailed, cross-cultural studies of orifice taboos in Christianity, ancient Judaism, Brahmanism, tantric Hinduism, and some tribal cultures. Aho's argument will add support for the theory that orifices are at the center of all political and religious disputes. James Aho is professor of sociology at Idaho State University. Among his earlier books are two celebrated studies of survivalist and hate groups in the northwest, The Politics of Righteousness and This Thing of Darkness.

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About the Author:

James Aho is Professor of Sociology at Idaho State University.

Review:

“[Aho’s] literary anthropology of embodied religion traverses cross-cultural terrain to examine orifice taboos in religious literatures, proposing that across cultures the body's entry and exit points represent sites of exchange between the sacred and profane that generate iconic matter out of place for religious worldviews of social order... This book will appeal to general readers and to initiates interested in exploring the immense scholarly literature in the social sciences and humanities on the human body. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and all academic collections.”

S. Ferzacca, Choice

“As a scholar of religion, Aho is well suited for the task of parsing out the bodily oriented translations and interpretations of religious doctrines. He focuses on traditional Judaism, Christianity, Brahmanism, and Tantric Hinduism, utilizing everything from the Old and New Testaments to the Laws of Manu, along with plenty of academic interpretations.”

—Rebecca F. Plante, Contemporary Sociology

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Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dirty things, the entryways and exits of our bodies, as well as their exuviae and influents, are mysteriously enchanting. Yet they are also terrifying. As a result, they have been perennial objects of devotion, and everywhere they have become subject to ritualization. In his customarily pointed way, Aho, who has written previous books on the survivalist sects of the Northwest, here explores cross-cultural primary documents to characterize what he calls orificial regimes in ancient Judaism, early Christianity, Brahmanism, and Tantrism. He also offers comparable observations on Islam and on selected tribal cultures. He then accounts for variations in these regimes by examining the prophetic origins and the organizational structures of the religions that formulate them. Whereas other treatments of orifice restraints typically invoke pop psychologies, Aho instead employs the full resources of Mills s sociological imagination. He situates things so private and small as to be almost invisibly there within the context of overarching social structures as these course through history. In so doing, he is able to show how primitive orificial concerns still resonate today in modern hearts, and how today s worldwide culture wars have been prefigured time and again, everywhere across the globe. His new book challenges and unsettles conventional truisms about the body openings, what goes into them and what comes out. It shows how the dirtiests of things are also in many ways the most dear, and it recalls the work of the early classic sociologists who made similar connections between past and present, periphery and center. Seller Inventory # AA69780202306735

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Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dirty things, the entryways and exits of our bodies, as well as their exuviae and influents, are mysteriously enchanting. Yet they are also terrifying. As a result, they have been perennial objects of devotion, and everywhere they have become subject to ritualization. In his customarily pointed way, Aho, who has written previous books on the survivalist sects of the Northwest, here explores cross-cultural primary documents to characterize what he calls orificial regimes in ancient Judaism, early Christianity, Brahmanism, and Tantrism. He also offers comparable observations on Islam and on selected tribal cultures. He then accounts for variations in these regimes by examining the prophetic origins and the organizational structures of the religions that formulate them. Whereas other treatments of orifice restraints typically invoke pop psychologies, Aho instead employs the full resources of Mills s sociological imagination. He situates things so private and small as to be almost invisibly there within the context of overarching social structures as these course through history. In so doing, he is able to show how primitive orificial concerns still resonate today in modern hearts, and how today s worldwide culture wars have been prefigured time and again, everywhere across the globe. His new book challenges and unsettles conventional truisms about the body openings, what goes into them and what comes out. It shows how the dirtiests of things are also in many ways the most dear, and it recalls the work of the early classic sociologists who made similar connections between past and present, periphery and center. Seller Inventory # AA69780202306735

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