Summary and Info
Little has been written about honour in the social sciences and almost nothing about grace. Yet honour has caused more deaths than the plague and grace is what we all yearn for, whether in the form of favor, luck, pardon, gratuity, or salvation. This collection of essays develops a line of thought in anthropology which was opened in the 1960s by the editors (and some of the same contributors) in Honor and Shame: The Values of a Mediterranean Society. The essays, half of them historical and half contemporary, deal with different aspects of honor and grace, and the strategies and transactions by which they can be obtained. They range from the French royal rituals of the Middle Ages to the murderous feuds and peace-making rites of the Rif; they show how different peoples and periods have faced the problems of power, legitimacy, purity, divinity, and personal destiny. The concluding chapter suggests that anthropology, which ignored honor until a quarter of a century ago, should no longer ignore grace, whose varied connotations provide the basis of religious doctrines as well as the common coinage of the exchange of favors and thanks.
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