Saturday, October 13, 2007

Women and Sacrifice

Male Narcissism and the Psychology of Religion

by William Beers

ISBN-10: 0814323774
ISBN-13: 978-0814323779

About the book

Women and Sacrifice is an original and lucid book that explores the anthropology and developmental psychology of male violence in blood sacrifice and its implications in religion and culture. It is the first comprehensive study of the psychology of gender and religion using the controversial ideas of Heinz Kohut and self-psychology.

Beers not only makes an important contribution to our psychological understanding of sacrifice, he explores how narcissistic anxiety fuels rituals and social structures that subordinate women. He bases his provocative theory on three general premises: sacrifice is traditionally performed only by men; the gender specificity of sacrifice can be traced to gender-specific developments of men and women and is reflected in religions throughout the world; and the male violence of sacrifice is related to other forms of male violence. Beers develops the theory that such rituals have a psychological function that diminishes and controls women.


"The book is to my knowledge unique in applying the insights of the self-psychology movement in psychoanalysis to sacrifice and is an excellent illustration of the applied value of that controversial psychoanalytic theory." — Ernest Wallwork, Syracuse University