This concluding chapter explains that sacrifice is an essential phenomenon of religious, ethical, and political life. In its two senses, as “sacrificing to” and “sacrificing for,” the linguistic use of the term covers immensely diverse experiences. It touches on ritual, atonement, substitution, self-transcendence, war, the responsibility to the past, and the state. Yet there is something at the core of this varied, rich phenomenon that justifies the use of the same word to express both meanings in so many languages. The term has to do with the identification of the sacrifice with the noninstrumental realm.
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