Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology

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9780415138260: Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology
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First published over twenty five years ago, but with a new introduction and thoroughly updated.
Every natural symbol - derived from blood, breath or excrement - carries a social meaning and this work focuses on the ways in which any one culture makes its selections from body symbolism. Each person treats his body as an image of society and Mary Douglas examines the varieties of ritual and symbolic expression and the patterns of social ritual in which they are embodied.
Natural Symbols is a book about religion, and less directly, about style. It concerns our own society at least as much as any other, and it has stimulated new insights into religious and political movements and has provoked re-appraisals of current progressive orthodoxies in many fields.

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About the Author:

Mary Douglas is a distinguished international anthropologist. She retired as Professor of Anthropology at University College London in 1977, and taught in America until 1988. Her books include Purity and Danger (1966), Essays in the Sociology of Perception (1982), How Institutions Think (1986) and Risk and Blame (1992).

Review:

'It has an originality unmatched for a generation among the writings of anthropologists.' - Times Literary Supplement

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