In The Enigma of the Gift, the distinguished French anthropologist Maurice Godelier reassesses the significance of gifts in social life by focusing on sacred. A reassessment of the function and importance of gifts in social life and in the constitution of social relations, based on the work of Marcel Mauss. In Mauss. The Enigma of the Gift. By Maurice Godelier. Translated by Nora Scott. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,. pp., introduction, bibli- ography.
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It gives the most elegant analysis we yet have of the landscape that makes satf snigma just possible but noble-not just religious but, as Weinberger- Thomas sometimes insists, necessary. If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’.
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Project MUSE – The Enigma of the Gift (review)
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Be the first to ask a question about The Enigma of the Gift. Winquist’s paper on representa- tion pp. Ironically these efforts are, in part, a legacy of Godelier, whose early remarks on gifting Mauss showed that all gift systems rely on the triple obligation of giving, receiving, and returning.
The Enigma of the Gift
Like earlier thinkers, the hhe analyses things one gives and things one enimga he begins, however, with those things that can be neither given nor sold, but which must be kept, chief among which are sacred objects. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. Read more Read less. Jessica rated it liked it Apr 04, In The Enigma of the Giftthe distinguished French anthropologist Maurice Godelier reassesses the significance of gifts in social life by focusing on sacred objects, which are never exchanged despite the value they possess.
Linus Vieira rated it really liked it Dec 09, Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. The Enigma of the Gift. As the symbolization process which produces language and all things related to culture is also a kind of separation, reducing it to religious alienation is danger- ous, because trying to destroy religious alienation also destroys culture, a fatal flaw of Marxism. You may purchase this title at these fine bookstores. Elegantly translated by Nora Scott, The Enigma of the Gift is at once a major theoretical contribution and an essential guide to the history of the theory of the gift.
According Godelier, reli- Book Reviews gion is a dividing process where man relinquishes his creativity to imaginary, illu- sionary entities-the gods-with whom man incurs an infinite debt, justifying inequality and oppression. By explaining godelied in terms of sacred objects and the authoritative conferral of power associated with them, Godelier challenges both recent and traditional theories of gift-giving, provocatively refreshing a traditional debate.
In the second section of the book the author continues his discussion of Mauss by relating what is circulated in exchange to what is kept back.
Godelier is a good reader of Mauss, but I’m not so sure he can fight the war he wants to fight on two fronts. English Choose a language for shopping. About Contact News Giving to the Press.
Paul rated it it was amazing Aug 12, He either needs to stick with and to develop Mauss, or to fight against Lacan and Enlgma. Baruya shell necklaces and valuable objects. Man’s relations to gods, superhuman beings and forces, relations of infinite debt and gratitude, is here understood in a somewhat durkheimian and marxist way – as a projection of human’s aspects on the surrounding world, as a work of repressing man’s active presence at his own origin.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. How does one explain religion? When we think of giving gifts, we think of exchanging objects that carry with them economic or symbolic value.
Comparative Studies and History of Religion. But this raises the question of what exactly the sacred is and indeed, what religion is.
He then explains why this rule applies to valuables that are given, but not to sacred objects, which must be kept.
The enigma of the gift / Maurice Godelier ; translated by Nora Scott – Details – Trove
Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty. Elegantly translated by Nora Scott, The Enigma of the Gift is at once a major theoretical contribution and an essential guide to the history of the theory of the gift. Reflecting on this helps relieve the paradox of seeing Godelier, as he attempts to limit the all-powerful exchange, invoke the sacred, which, he states, merely con- ceals th illusion.
And it does so without effacing the horror of it all.
The only thing the authors share “is the confidence that religion cannot be adequately studied and understood if the central methodological giift are ignored and left unanswered” p. They may not be easily reconciled because the question of origins and the interest in identifying the fundamental nature of social relationships, which figure so prominently in Godelier’s work, are simply not addressed in later work.
What is the place of potlatch societies in history?