The role of human and animal sacrifices.Based on "A history of God Across Belief Systems. Explain the purpose of sacrifice, both animal and human in early religious practices. Write in the clear active voice -- 12 to 15 complete sentences.(approximately 3 full paragraphs)

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Generally it is understood that animal and human sacrifice were offered by early humans in order to propitiate the gods. It was believed that by willingly offering a sacrifice, the gods might be merciful and spare the community (or tribe) from suffering, due to poor weather, poor crop yields, disease or other hardships. Physical evidence of such sacrifices has been found at places throughout the British Isles, as well as other parts of Europe. The archeological and anthropological basis of human sacrifice is also discussed at length in Sir James Frazier's ambitious work The Golden Bough, which is named for the plant mistletoe believed to be sacred to druids, a group of learned mystics who were believed to engage in human sacrifice in various parts of the British Isles.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial