BOOK REVIEWS J AMES R ANDAL L N OBLITT , P AMELA S UE P ERSKIN , Cult and Ritual Abuse: Its History, Anthropology,and Recent Discovery in Contemporary America —Westport/Connecticut, London: Praeger Publishers, rev. ed. 2000 ( 1 1995) (269 p.) ISBN 0–275–96664–X; 0–175–96665–8 (pbk.). This book, written by two practitioners of clinical and consultative work with present-day victims of ritual violence, touches a thematic which has not yet attracted the attention of many scholars of religious studies. Until shortly ago, phenomena like ritual abuse of women, men and children, animal sacri ce, human sacri ce, and cannibalism were things which happened far away in time and space—but not in our civilized Western culture. We have been forced to learn in the last years that the worst possible non-ritual forms of these crimes, as for instance pornographical abuse of children resulting in murder, can and do happen. However, what seems to be remarkably more dif cult to accept is the idea that some people in our direct surroundings do things like those in ritual settings, i.e. as part of their religious practice. Acknowledging this as a reality in Western countries—and the reviewer thinks this will sooner or later
Numen – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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