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Reply To: Sacrificial Origins, with Mythologist Norland Têllez


I appreciate Campbell’s resolve to look at human sacrifice with scientific impartiality. However, I’m wondering how the Aztec ritual with its literal killings meets the requirement of “compassion as the fundamental religious experience and, unless that is there, you have nothing.” (Power of Myth) I must think of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (or the less famous St. John Passion). The mythic power of these works results from their ability to lead us to an identification with the suffering Christ. I’m wondering how the important “god of compassion”, on the other hand, might be served in a cult, that celebrates the literal killing of an adolescent slave girl.