Individual Author Record
Name: Bruce LincolnPen Name: None Genre: Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Sites:
Illinois ConnectionLincoln is Caroline E. Haskell Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.
Biographical and Professional InformationN/A
Titles At Your Library
Priests, Warriors, and Cattle: A Study in the Ecology of Religions (HERMENEUTICS, STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS)
ISBN: 0520038800 Univ of California Pr. 1980
Myth, Cosmos, and Society: Indo-European Themes of Creation and Destruction
ISBN: 0674597753 Harvard University Press. 1986 Book by Lincoln, Bruce
Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification
ISBN: 0195079094 Oxford University Press. 1992 In this bold theoretical work, Bruce Lincoln explores the ways in which myth, ritual, and classification hold human societies together--and how, in times of crisis, they can be used to take a society apart and reconstruct it. Without overlooking the role of coercive force in the maintenance (or overthrow) of social structures, Lincoln argues his thesis with compelling illustrations drawn from such diverse areas as Platonic philosophy, the Upanishads of India, ancient Celtic banquets, professional wrestling, and the Spanish Civil War. This wide-ranging interdisciplinary study--which draws on works in history, semiotics, anthropology, sociology, classics, and indology--offers challenging new insights into the complex dynamics of social cohesion and change.
Death, War, and Sacrifice: Studies in Ideology & Practice
ISBN: 0226482006 University of Chicago Press. 1991
One of the world's leading specialists in Indo-European
religion and society, Bruce Lincoln expresses in these essays
his severe doubts about the existence of a much-hypothesized
prototypical Indo-European religion.
Written over fifteen years, the essays—six of them
previously unpublished—fall into three parts. Part I deals
with matters "Indo-European" in a relatively unproblematized
way, exploring a set of haunting images that recur in
descriptions of the Otherworld from many cultures. While
Lincoln later rejects this methodology, these chapters remain
the best available source of data for the topics they
In Part II, Lincoln takes the data for each essay from a
single culture area and shifts from the topic of dying to
that of killing. Of particular interest are the chapters
connecting sacrifice to physiology, a master discourse of
antiquity that brought the cosmos, the human body, and human
society into an ideologically charged correlation.
Part III presents Lincoln's most controversial case
against a hypothetical Indo-European protoculture.
Reconsidering the work of the prominent Indo-Europeanist
Georges Dumézil, Lincoln argues that Dumézil's writings
were informed and inflected by covert political concerns
characteristic of French fascism. This collection is an
invaluable resource for students of myth, ritual, ancient
societies, anthropology, and the history of religions.
Bruce Lincoln is professor of humanities and religious
studies at the University of Minnesota.
Authority: Construction and Corrosion
ISBN: 0226481972 University Of Chicago Press. 1995
What is authority? How is it constituted? How ought one understand the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) relations between authority and coercion? Between authorized and subversive speech? In this fascinating and intricate analysis, Bruce Lincoln argues that authority is not an entity but an effect. More precisely, it is an effect that depends for its power on the combination of the right speaker, the right speech, the right staging and props, the right time and place, and an audience historically and culturally conditioned to judge what is right in all these instances and to respond with trust, respect, and even reverence.
Employing a vast array of examples drawn from classical antiquity, Scandinavian law, Cold War scholarship, and American presidential politics, Lincoln offers a telling analysis of the performance of authority, and subversions of it, from ancient times to the present. Using a small set of case studies that highlight critical moments in the construction of authority, he goes on to offer a general examination of "corrosive" discourses such as gossip, rumor, and curses the problematic situation of women, who often are barred from the authorizing sphere the role of religion in the construction of authority the question of whether authority in the modern and postmodern world differs from its premodern counterpart and a critique of Hannah Arendt's claims that authority has disappeared from political life in the modern world. He does not find a diminution of authority or a fundamental change in the conditions that produce it. Rather, Lincoln finds modern authority splintered, expanded, and, in fact multiplied as the mechanisms for its construction become more complex—and more expensive.
Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship
ISBN: 0226482022 The University of Chicago Press. 2000
In Theorizing Myth, Bruce Lincoln traces the way scholars and others have used the category of "myth" to fetishize or deride certain kinds of stories, usually those told by others.
He begins by showing that mythos yielded to logos not as part of a (mythic) "Greek miracle," but as part of struggles over political, linguistic, and epistemological authority occasioned by expanded use of writing and the practice of Athenian democracy. Lincoln then turns his attention to the period when myth was recuperated as a privileged type of narrative, a process he locates in the political and cultural ferment of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Here, he connects renewed enthusiasm for myth to the nexus of Romanticism, nationalism, and Aryan triumphalism, particularly the quest for a language and set of stories on which nation-states could be founded.
In the final section of this wide-ranging book, Lincoln advocates a fresh approach to the study of myth, providing varied case studies to support his view of myth—and scholarship on myth—as ideology in narrative form.
Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion After September 11, 2nd Edition
ISBN: 0226482030 The University Of Chicago Press. 2006
It is tempting to regard the perpetrators of the September 11th terrorist attacks as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln’s acclaimed Holy Terrors makes clear, were profoundly and intensely religious. Thus what we need after the events of 9/11, Lincoln argues, is greater clarity about what we take religion to be.
Holy Terrors begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 9/11 hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, we learn how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder “in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush’s October 7, 2001 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan alongside the videotaped speech released by Osama bin Laden just a few hours later. As Lincoln authoritatively demonstrates, a close analysis of the rhetoric used by leaders as different as George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden—as well as Mohamed Atta and even Jerry Falwell—betrays startling similarities. These commonalities have considerable implications for our understanding of religion and its interrelationships with politics and culture in a postcolonial world, implications that Lincoln draws out with skill and sensitivity.
With a chapter new to this edition, “Theses on Religion and Violence,” Holy Terrors remains one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion.
“Modernity has ended twice: in its Marxist form in 1989 Berlin, and in its liberal form on September 11, 2001. In order to understand such major historical changes we need both large-scale and focused analyses—a combination seldom to be found in one volume. But here Bruce Lincoln . . . has given us just such a mix of discrete and large-picture analysis.”—Stephen Healey, Christian Century
“From time to time there appears a work . . . that serves to focus the wide-ranging, often contentious discussion of religion’s significance within broader cultural dynamics. Bruce Lincoln’s Holy Terrors is one such text. . . . Anyone still struggling toward a more nuanced comprehension of 9/11 would do well to spend time with this book.”—Theodore Pulcini, Middle East Journal