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Human Sacrifice
(591 words)

1. Almost all religions include reports of people sacrificing the dearest thing they have, even life. Only in rare cases, however, do we find accounts of the regular killing of people as sacrifices, as among the Mayans and Aztecs. Human sacrifice usually took place in times of extraordinary danger such as prolonged drought, with expiation being attempted in the face of serious pestilence, disaster, or other emergencies. Reports of the practice almost always reflect distaste for the horror.

In its aims human sacrifice differs in principle from other forms of sacrifice. It …

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Zinser, Hartmut, “Human Sacrifice”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_H327>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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