Childhood and Violence in the Western Tradition by Laurence Brockliss, Heather Montgomery

By Laurence Brockliss, Heather Montgomery

The violence and forget suffered via youngsters this present day is a typical topic of media realization and lots more and plenty political hand-wringing, now not simply in Britain yet in different components of the western global. As but, although, there was no try and discover this drawback traditionally and consider how the boundary among strong and undesirable parenting can have replaced throughout time. This publication makes an attempt to fill the distance by means of studying the function of violence and overlook within the family among parents/carers and kids from the Bronze Age to the current. via demonstrating how the boundary among applicable and unacceptable varieties of childrearing has shifted during the a long time, and never unavoidably in a linear path, it will emphasise how quite fresh our modern realizing of fine and undesirable parenting is, and as a result the excessive chance that that figuring out has now not been thoroughly digested.

The ebook is split into six, multi-authored chapters. the 1st 4 take care of varied manifestations in the course of the centuries of what may at the present time be thought of violence and overlook: 1) baby sacrifice; 2) infanticide and abandonment; three) actual and psychological cruelty; and four) exploitation. The 5th and 6th chapters glance on the quite a few violent and non-violent suggestions utilized by young children as coping mechanisms in what to us turns out a really harsh global. each one bankruptcy includes a few brief chronologically or thematically particular extracts, written by way of approximately forty historians, sociologists, anthropologists, literary students and theologians, and knitted jointly right into a coherent narrative through the editors.

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If there is one taboo that has been a consistent feature of Judaic, Christian and Islamic civilisation over the last three millennia, it is ritual human sacrifice.  Through the graphic Genesis story of Abraham and Isaac, Jews, Christians and Muslims learn that this is one sacrifice God certainly does not expect us to make. Yet, if child sacrifice is an abomination, it is a practice with which Christians have had a complex relationship.  At the same time, and doubtless as a result of the special significance of Christ’s death as a filial sacrifice, European Christians through the centuries have frequently suspected nonChristian groups in their midst, or simply the ungodly, or marginal, class or national enemies, of imitating God’s ultimate act of love, be it out of mockery or for some deeper nefarious purpose.

Droge and J. D. Tabor (eds), A Noble Death: Suicide and Martyrdom among Christians and Jews in Antiquity (San Francisco: Harper, 1991); J. W. van Henten and F. Aremarie (eds), Martyrdom and Noble Death: Selected Texts from Graeco-Roman, Jewish and Christian Antiquity (London: Routledge, 2002). 28 1. Child Sacrifice Childhood, Sacrifice and Redemption James Francis Whatever is to be said about child sacrifice in some ancient traditions in the Hebrew Scriptures, the early church inherited the normative Jewish idea of the abhorrence of the practice.

At the same time, Christians were taught that the Son, the sacrificial victim, placed peculiar emphasis during his mission on earth on the innocence and holiness of children. The portrayal of Jesus as both a knowing adult and a valued child (who is childlike in his sinlessness) is crucial to the Christian theological presentation of his death as a sacrifice. 29 Instead, like Jephthah’s daughter and Iphigenia, he is a sacrificial offering who is a willing participant. htm (24 Sept. 2005). The myth was also known to the Etruscans.

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