The article's approach to sati and similar phenomena is functionally and morally neutral. A society that practices following in death is not, for that matter, considered inferior. Schneewind, however, pleads for a normative moral approach, ranking societies according to their ability to rid themselves of harmful customs. What in the article is shown as a mere functional difference between European (or Christian) and (some) non-Western societies thereby appears as an illegitimate Eurocentrism or ethnocentrism. Such a view should not be read into the text, as it will inhibit consideration of important questions.
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 7, 2007