Gideon Aran: The Cult of Dismembered Limbs

This text consists of two books organically blended. The first deals with Zaka. It is an analytic description of this unique religious/political phenomenon based on extensive field study. The second is essentially conceptual.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran 

It discusses suicide terrorism through an alternative theoretical prism and in debate with several hegemonic lines of argument in the vast literature on this hot topic. At the focus of this study is the actual bombing arena. Nonetheless, the book seeks to make research-related comments relevant to the sociology of death and of the body, to the study of Palestinian and Israeli societies, to ritual studies, radical religion, and more.

The original manuscript of roughly 100 pages entitled Blood Touches Blood has been very positively received by the readers of U of California Press (especially by Mark Juergensmeyer, a world authority on religious terror and the editor of the Religion & Society series).

Reviewers write: “Well-thought, powerful, though disturbing stuff”.  And “This is intense, knowledgeable, skillful work… rich with provocative insights”. However the Press editors made the publication conditional on adding 2-3 more chapters that will enlarge the volume by 50%. The coming year is dedicated to the completion of this task.
Gideon Aran is a professor of Sociology & Anthropology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem


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