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Cannibalism
(266 words)

When he was in Cuba, Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) heard of some “Canibales” (cf. Lat. canis, “dog”) who ate human flesh. In fact these were Caribs (Columbus mistook the r for n), ancient inhabitants of the Caribbean, but “cannibalism” became the common term for eating human flesh.

Cannibalism was common in primitive times, and it has occurred in tribal cultures, in World War II prison camps, and in many places where victors have triumphantly eaten the livers of their enemies in front of clicking cameras. Friends as well as foes have b…

Cite this page
Greschat, Hans-Jürgen, “Cannibalism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 11 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_C92>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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