REL 490.001

Senior Capstone Seminar: Sacrifice Theory and Practice

M | 3:30-5:50 pm

Manly 210

Download Syllabus View Online Syllabus

This semester REL 490 will focus on sacrifice. Moving between social theory and case studies we will ask a number of questions. What is a sacrifice? What is the social function of sacrifice? Where can we find sacrifice in the modern world? Thus, we will explore sacrifice as theory, practice, and rhetoric. (Required of Majors)

Michael J. Altman

  • Office hours: 

    Monday, 12:30pm-1:30pm; Tuesday, 9:00am-10:00am, and by appointment.

  • (205) 348-5271
Aztec Sacrifice. Post-Conquest Nahua Painting, c. 1560.


Bataille, Georges
Theory of Religion
Zone Books, 1992

Bloch, Maurice
Prey Into Hunter: The Politics of Religious Experience
Cambridge University Press, 1991

Hubert, Henri & Marcel Mauss
Sacrifice: Its Nature and Functions
University of Chicago Press, 1981

Wilson, Charles Reagan
Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause
University of Georgia Press, 2009

Books are available at the SUPe Store and online through vendors such as