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Sacrifice is important in Religion as a means of making an offering to the Gods to appease them in order to prevent natural disasters.
The Importance Of Sacrifice In Religion
Dr Gunnar Heinsohn’s Creation Of The Gods: Sacrifice As The Origin Of Religion tackles the importance of Sacrifice in Religion, tracing it to the days of the earliest Civilization in Ancient Sumer.
The importance of Sacrifice in Religion is linked to the need to avoid traumas caused by natural disasters.
According to Dr Heinsohn, the importance of Sacrifice in Religion can be found in the collective Psychological Trauma caused by the Great Deluge i.e. Noah’s Flood once it is understood as an actual Historical event which traumatized the survivors.
The destruction caused by the Great Flood was simply incomprehensible, and its lingering memory would lead to the establishment of Blood Sacrifice Priestly Cults tasked with averting future catastrophes.
It is in this context that the Sumerian King-Priests like Ziusudra (Noah) began the ritual of blood animal sacrifice as a means of appeasing the Gods to prevent disasters such as Comets, Meteors, drought or war.
Thus the importance of Sacrifice in Religion comes from the need to make offerings to the Gods in order to appease them so as to avoid disasters and catastrophes like the Great Flood.
From this perspective, the importance of Sacrifice in Religion first emerges from the Post-flood story in Genesis of Noah burning an Offering to God which was the first important Sacrifice ritual in Religion.
With the spread of civilization, the Sacrifice tradition spread across the globe, with Cults being established in Mesoamerica amongst the Maya, Aztec and Inca.
The role and importance of Sacrifice in Religion in order to avoid natural disasters can therefore be traced to Ancient Sumer and the collective memory of the trauma caused by the Great Flood.