Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 1996 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 183 pages
1 Review
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 their body as an image of society and the author 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 it concerns our own society at least as much as any other. It has stimulated new insights into religious and political movements and has provoked re-appraisals of current progressive orthodoxies in many fields. As a classic, it represents a work of anthropology in its widest sense, exploring themes such as the social meaning of natural symbols and the image of the body in society which are now very much in vogue in anthropology, sociology and cultural studies.
In this reissue and with a new Introduction, Natural Symbols will continue to appeal to all students of anthropology, sociology and religion.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology

User Review  - Xiaomin Zu - Goodreads

maybe we should ban religious studies scholars from playing mathematicians. Read full review

Contents

Away from ritual
1
To inner experience
20
The Bog Irish
37
Grid and group
54
The two bodies
69
Test cases
88
The problem of evil
110
Impersonal rules
126
Control of symbols
145
Out of the cave
160
Bibliography
171
Index
177
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1996)

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)

Bibliographic information