Internal Critique of the ‘Legend of Abraham’

in Durkheimian Studies
Author: Marcel Mauss
View More View Less

Neither Hubert nor Ii have ever been prisoners of the method of excessive critique – basically rational and subjective.1 The critics of the biblical text have applied this method to tradition even when this application seemed clearly implausible to them. Yet, by a curious swing of the pendulum, this method returns. Nowadays, numerous authorsii agree in admitting the historical foundations of the important parts of the biblical tradition, even those of Genesis (after Chapter X). In particular, the works of A.T. Clayiii are a good example of this. Even some hypercritical works such as the hypothesis of R. Weilliv on the establishment of Hebrews in Palestine – supported by some Egyptian documents – are an oblique homage to this historicity.

We do not purport to provide other arguments in this direction. The critical school, impregnated by romantic rationalism and convinced that its philological dialectic can reconstitute the historical truth, came up with a classic portrayal of the life of the Hebrews before Moses. However, in light of sociological and archaeological comparisons and in accordance with the simple historical representations, we would like to examine whether this portrayal is plausible. It is thought that the Hebrews who came out of the desert, before their entry into Egypt, were nomadic Bedouins, who gazed upon2 their one God as opposed to the thousand idols of the cities. The tempting and fanciful pages written by Renan on this are well known. Similarly, Meillet, in a recent work on the linguistic conservatism of the Semites, revisits this point of departure.v Nothing is more wanton than this hypothesis of pure Semites living exclusively outside of a grand civilization. We would like to present another side of the facts through a simple test of internal critique.vi

Abraham lived in Ur of Chaldeans, Haran and Canaan. He was born in Ur – a rather grand city. His father Terah (Θαρρα in the Septuagint text) died in Haran. When Abraham turned seventy-five, he came to Canaan and set off again from here with his property – military equipment, in particular horses (assyr. Rukušu) – his paternal uncle Lot and his sister-wife Sara.3 Abraham and Lot went to Egypt from where they returned rich in livestock and slaves. The land was too small for the two of them and so they split. Abraham set up his tent close to Bethel and Mamre, while Lot installed himself in the ‘cities of the plain’ (Sept.) or rather ‘at the gates of’ (Hebr.) Sodom,4 where, according to the legend, he was taken prisoner by the King of Elam and so on,vii then freed by Abraham and the 318 servants ‘born in his house’.5 Lot remained in Sodom, as is well known. But Abraham, who did not always live in the desert, repeated with Abimelech, the Philistine of Guerar, the deception he had already committed against the Pharaoh, which was to pass on6 Sara, his sister and wife, as his sister.viii From the Hittites of Hebron, Abraham bought the burial land for himself and Sara at the price of four hundred shekels of silver. According to the legend, this was the money that, back then, circulated among the travelling merchants.ix Later on, he sent his devoted servant, with gifts of princely jewellery, to look for Rebecca, who was the daughter of Nacor – brother of Abraham (marriage of ortho-cousins7) – and who lived in a Mesopotamian town.

The legends of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph pass through similar stages as that of Abraham’s, among Egyptians, Philistines, Hittites and Mesopotamians, and from town to town. There is no end to the riches transported by the patriarchs, such as the hundred shekels of the altar of Sichem, or those that they later pillaged in this city.8

We know very well that shekels of silver were not the currency of exchange that circulated in Hebron and Sichem; these began to be minted at a far later stage and this biblical assertion has to be largely taken on credit of the ‘redactors’ of the biblical text. These references are largely anachronistic. Nevertheless, perhaps there is not so much that we cannot believe; and perhaps they preserved the tradition better than is otherwise known. From the point of view of internal critique, there is nothing altogether improbable in this.

The milieu depicted by the legend is certainly one where the society that took the name of Israel is itself evolving even before having ‘crossed’9 the Jordan. When? Whether one makes Abraham a contemporary of this or that Mesopotamian or Egyptian dynasty, whether one dates his existence precisely from the legendary dynasties that are now entering history following the excavations at Kis and Ur of Casdim, or whether one goes down as far as the end of the Middle Empire, all this matters little. What remains completely certain is that the group that he leads, when he bears his two successive names, and the groups that his sons and grandsons led, even according to myth, all travel in the same milieu and live in the same surroundings. The ancestors of Israel form large families with as many members as there are in clans. Their leader is a sort of pastoral prince and warrior, escorted by servants born of his servants. The leader, his descendants and his servants graze their cattle towards the necessary pastures. But, at the same time, they also enter into the towns; on their journey, they go from one to the other; they return, guard their family and camp at the footholds or other suitable positions on the routes and trails. Allies or guests of the kings of Hittites, Philistines and Egyptians etc., they fight for them as mercenaries or vassals; later they will fight as chiefs.10 Equipped with horses and camels, they are also merchants and caravanners like the Bedouins and the Touaregs of our times, or like Mahomet. The geographical area is vast; but it is covered with cities/towns most likely found in the beginning of the third and fourth century, fortified from the north and south to the east by the third century. On the rich pastures, within the mišpahot,11 large families that relate through an active male line form tribes, clans and provide here and elsewhere the chiefs and the ancestors of well-defined societies. The legend extends their influence from Arabia to southern Armenia and to the doors of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Their cousins, children of Horus and Akkadians, had already conquered these lands. These patriarchs are involved in all sorts of affairs of political, material and – as one could already tell – financial interests.x,12

We are a long way from the savages pictured by Mac Lennan or the boors understood by Renan.13 Also, in our opinion, from their entry into history, their very ancient Semitic language that we can read, and the origin that we can reconstitute of them, all these things about the Semitic civilization mark the highest advance. They had a rich technical vocabulary, the relatively rapid turnover of words which lasted until the trilateral period and they used an extremely simple and non-primitive syntax. The land that stretches from Elam to Byblos and from Byblos to Abydos unveils itself as full of great ancient riches – in things, manpower and civilization – and still abounds in eternal ruins. The Semites, even those of the tent, have always been civilized.

Is this to say that during the same time, they had not preserved the important traces of their forefathers? Much like in linguistic matters, they had been extremely keen in conserving all else.

Not only that, following the excellent discovery of Mrs. B. Seligman, we learn that a certain number of actual Semitic tribes,xi or rather the more ancient Semites of Tigre, in particular, preserved a nomenclature of classificatory kinship (where the kin were classified in groups and not individually). This is an undeniable sign of primitiveness. Not only do the important traces of this classification subsist in all the Semitic languages but also in most of the laws: for example, one reminds oneself that Lot is the father for Abraham, like Milka is the sister. Similarly, Rebecca is a sister for Isaac. Already one can clearly imagine, around this sort of edifying ballad that is the Legend of the Patriarchs, other traits of life sufficiently primitive, that a long urban life or life in the vicinity of towns has not yet adulterated. In particular, their pastoral lifexii is well depicted by the oral tradition and later by their writings.

The Hebrews, before their legendary return or entry into Egypt and even more after their equally legendary exit, were like their pastoral cousins of Moab and Edom. Among all these people, this kind of life is more than a trade: it is a sort of faith. Here, the Hebrews made it a rule and a moral commitment. They took pride in it, disdaining other foods such as those from the hunting of Esau – father of their neighbours – abominating the reptiles and most fish. They protected the milk and meat from all adulteration and impure contact even into the stomach. Remains of totemism are found in the names of Rachel the young ewe and Lea the heifer, the two mothers of Israel, of Juda and Benjamin.xiii

It was also natural for them to simply see the names of pastor and cults in the names of the beasts that they bred. We do not know the complete cults, not even the positive rites which these beasts were the object of, for the tribes.xiv Similarly, we do not know the use of their flesh and blood in the sacrifice, the horns on the altar and the rules of the slaughter. The adoration for the calf was not certain. But we are well informed on the negative cult that the beasts were the object of, and in particular the power-ful prohibitions, for example the famous precept: ‘You will not cook the lamb in the milk of its mother’. A long passage of Maimonidesxv would merit being reproduced here with the commentary of Munk. According to the ancient Sabean tradition whose existence Maimonides knows of but cannot rediscover the text, the custom of Israel could have itself been opposed to that of the demi-pagans of Moab and Edom, for whom it was a common practice to offend the mother ewe by sacrificing its lamb, on the same day as her, and boiling the meat in the milk of the cattle. This ancient interpretation, even in its detail, seems plausible to me: Israel could have made an intentional choice here. It could have wanted to distinguish itself from these adorers of gods other than their own; the gods of those pastors whose origins were less well known and less pure. The institutions of this genre find themselves in numerous groups of living and rich societies with whom we can compare the Hebrews from before the definitive installation of David in the city of Jebusites.

From Tigre and Abyssinia to Uganda stretch out here some Semitic societies and there some societies of Hamitic languages (Galla and others). Farther out are some mixed societies of Gallas and Nilo-Tchadiens and farther still other more mixed societies of Nilo-Tchadiens and the Bantus.xvi The two previous groups of societies are excellent representations of a type of social organization that we propose to definitively call compositesxvii and towards which we have often drawn attention. They are normally composed of several races or social groups, all grafted14 upon one another. The societies of this genre were extremely numerous in antiquity. Such were most of the large masses of India, and India, to this day, belongs to the same genre. Canaan with its Hebrews, Hittites, Phoenicians, Philistines and Egyptians was a zone of extraordinarily mixed population.xviii Israel – perhaps save for Juda after the disappearance of Jebusites – was always already precisely one of those societies that tolerated being vassals of, or having as vassals, other social groups who were heterogeneous to it. Syria and Palestine are still societies of this type and it will take time before they form into nations. But let us return to our Africans.

A very large number of Hamitic people still live in a manner which Israel lived at the time as caravanners, cultivators, pastors, warriors, very often disdaining the land. They are noble descendants of noble race, taking pride in their flocks, horses and camels, their diet and the cult of meat and milk.xix But they are especially comparable to the composite societies of Hamites and of the Negroes of Southern Ethiopia and the composite societies of Nilo-Tchadiens and Bantus.xx In our considered opinion, the Masai, Nandi etc. and finally, most of the non-bantus: Bakitara (vulgo Banyoro), Banyankole – in the north and west of Uganda – live like Israel lived among people who did not have the same alliance that they had with their god. All sorts of compositions meet one another here. Here the Bantu element is more or less assimilated: for example, the Masai have never altered the Wandorobo, who is still agricultural or artisanal. Elsewhere, the masses of Bantu have assimilated the conquerors (Bajenda). In general, the characteristic Bantu is not pastoral in these regions; only as an exception does he guard or even have the right to guard some cows or goats. As sedentary, he lives in the towns; and there are a large number of such towns in Nyoro (Bakitara), in Uganda – strictly speaking – and Ruanda. They are often called Ba-Hera because they are serfs.15 The Bahuma, on the contrary, are noble pastoralists who at the least are free. They roam the land; they supply the royal dynasty with women for their harems, partisans for their internal conflicts, functionaries for the administrations of their fiefs; they divide/spread themselves in districts, headed by the feudal lords who are rivals of the king. Roscoexxi has given an excellent description of all this. Only the court is sedentary, and the royal family is to some extent mobile. The chiefs, similar to dukes, or their representatives, similar to hostages and prosecutors, replace one another in court out of caution or in homage. The herd of the grand chief and the king is divided according to colours: hence the prickled goats and the red lambs of Laban and Jacob.xxii Although the zones of shepherds might be determined,xxiii the proprietor has a sort of general right of movement on the entire surface of the land.

This is an accurate explanation of the life of the Bahuma (Nkole of Banyankole and Kitara of Bakitara). They do not marry except between themselves. To cease being a pastor amounts to a breach. The amount of food consumed apart from and above all derived out of milk is minimal. In the past, it was forbidden for the serfs to have cattle and to consume dairy products, save in certain conditions.

This is surely how Israel lived, first between Mesopotamia and Egypt, then limiting/containing their movement between Egypt and Chanaan, until they installed, in the towns, their own priests, judges and finally their kingsxxiv – similar to the kings of Ruanda and Nyoro. The analogy of this social morphology with that of the Hebrews is profound.

That is not the only analogy. These conquering tribes have, like their neighbours, who did not intermingle with the others, an extremely pronounced cult of milk. Sir James G. Frazer has made a parallel, like us, between the cult of fat and the cult of lean meat and numerous such details are to be found in these pages.xxv This parallel is perfectly licit, all the more as this symmetry is not isolated. Nonetheless, Sir James Frazer was precisely at fault in dismissing, a little quickly, the tradition that we have seen echoed in Maimonides. These efforts of a tribe, clan and nation for differentiating itself from others are normal. This is another trait of resemblance between the diverse branches of the Semitic origin, from Moab to Israel, and the diverse pastoral clans like the Bahuma of Nkole and Nyoro. The latter distinguish between themselves precisely by the colours of their livestock, the interdictions which they apply to certain cattle, some for example to cows with a red mark, others to cows with short horns, some to cows that had just been covered, others to cow tongues and so on.xxvi Thus, the Nkole royal clan could only eat millet in certain conditions in relation to milk. Moreover, one of its sub-sections could not add anything to what was already cooking; each thing had to be cooked separately, unless they had started cooking together.xxvii

The other remarkable rules of rights are symmetric. Thus, the fact that Abraham married his paternal half-sister and that Isaac had similarly married Rebecca who, in classificatory nomenclature, carries the same title of paternal half-sister. The rule has its equivalent here: the king, the mugabe kitara, regularly marries his half-sister. The mukama nkole has a right to do it too. On the other hand, the sister of the mother plays a very different role.xxviii

Incidentally, the analogies are endless. To the point where for the Masai, Merker believed that they had been influenced by some Jews.xxix

We are not going to make it our task to represent the historical reasons for these strange resemblances. The unity of branches of Hamites and the Semites of the white race is beginning to be admitted. There is no great difficulty in admitting the distant influences, or in thinking/believing that similar conditions of life produce similar effects. We simply conclude this: these current facts prove the plausibility of a good number of the legen-dary alleged claims in the story of the patriarchs. There are still some Semitic societies that live in the manner that Israel lived and there are still some neighbouring non-Semitic societies, some sections of which live in the manner that Israel lived among the other races and the Semite pagans.

There is yet another thing with which to conclude. The old romantic doctrines on the primitiveness of pastoralists, on their inferiority vis-à-vis agricultural peoples, must be relegated to the storehouse of historically obsolete a prioris. Pastoralist people have played an immense role since the end of the Neolithic age and have very often been superior to sedentary peoples, strategically dominating them in their cities and fields, and winning out over them not only by force but also in wealth, in commerce and in industry.

Notes
1

As already observed in our introduction and commentary, critique interne has been translated as ‘internal critique’, but could also mean ‘internal critic’. For a discussion of how ‘legend’ is different from but interrelated with ‘myth’, see Mauss (2007: 191–93). A final preliminary note is that the essay’s opening Ni M. Hubert ni nous has been translated as ‘Neither Hubert nor I’, in line with a nowadays standard approach to an authorial ‘we’.

2

To translate contemplant leur Dieu unique. One of the main meanings of contempler is to gaze upon, often with a sense of longing, and this generally fits in with the concerns of Mauss’s essay. More specifically, however, he was an accomplished scholar whose ‘internal critique’ drew on the Hebrew biblical text rather than the Septuagint (in light of the difference between them pointed out in a subsequent footnote), and in this passage he was trying to translate the Hebrew term ‘ROI (יאר)’. This has stronger affinity with vision/gaze as opposed to contemplation in English, and occurs in Gen XXXVI, 13; 14. See the commentary in Freedman and Simon’s Midrash Rabah (1983: 387). See also Lee (1840: 545), יאר in Gesenius (1906: 909) and Klein (1987: 600).

3

Sœur-femme is here translated literally as sister-wife. Mauss is drawing attention to an issue that has been the subject of much exegetical work on the biblical text, i.e., the ambiguous kinship of Abraham to Sara. See Gen XX, 1–12, and also Benslama (2009: 68–108) for a discussion around related themes.

4

Mauss’s reference is to Gen XIII, 12.

5

Mauss’s reference is to Gen XIV, 14.

6

For faisait passer. The term is usually translated as to make someone pretend to be something else.

7

Mauss uses the word ortho-cousins because of the prevalence of the use of the term in cultural anthropology to mean parallel cousins as opposed to cross-cousins. The former designates a cousin whose parent shares the same sex with one’s own parent, e.g. the son/daughter of a paternal uncle or a maternal aunt. Here, Rebecca is an ortho-cousin because her father and the father of Isaac were brothers. Cf. Frazer (1919, vol. 2: 98) for the use of ‘ortho-cousins’.

8

Mauss’s reference is to Gen XXXIII, 18–20 and Gen XXXIV.

9

Mauss is probably referring here to Gen XXXII, 11, where Jacob’s passing over the Jordan is related. The word used for passing/crossing in Hebrew is יתרבע which means to pass over; bring over, pass. See ‘הרבע’ in Clines (2007: 245), and the entry, complete with variations for Niph., Hithp. and Hiph., in Gesenius (1906: 716–19). It is interesting to note that one of these meanings – be alienated, pass into other hands – is implied in Gen XXIII, 16, when the term ober lasoher is employed. Mauss notes the use of the same root in two different senses, and provides the Hebrew word in one instance but puts quotation marks on the other.

10

‘Guests’ to translate hôtes and ‘chiefs’ to translate maîtres, which in this context can also be read as pointing out the official authority of those fighting in the name of the aforementioned kings.

11

Although he could have as easily employed here a Latin terminology for household, family, clan, tribe, species and so on, Mauss instead uses a biblical term, mishpahot. Klein (1987: 394) translates תחפשמ as (1) family, (2) clan and (3) species. It is not without importance that Mauss invokes a word that occurs in Genesis not only for the families of Noah and his son Shem (Gen X, 32) but also for the progeny of all three of Noah’s sons, i.e., Japheth and Ham, as well as Shem (Gen X, 5, 20 and 31). See Gesenius (1906: 1046–47) for his complete entry on תחפשמ, which includes (1) clan: a) family connection of individuals, b) in loose popular sense = tribe, c) techn. divisions of people of Israel … e) late, div of other people, f) in wider sense = people, nation, (2) guild (of scribes), (3) species, kind: a) of judgements, b) animals. It might be noted in passing that a significant yet strange use of the same Hebrew term occurs in Gen VIII, 19, although Mauss’s concern is with subsequent chapters, and also that another homonym of this word would take us into a discussion of magic and dissemination.

12

Mauss’s references to Goldstein in notes 10 and 19 have been difficult to trace. But he might have had in mind Ferdinand Goldstein, author, in the 1900s, of an article on the Chaldeans in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie as well as of another on Saharan towns in Globus, and of a book on slavery in North Africa and the Sudan.

13

Quoted and translated by Strenski (1997: 108–9) as being a long way from the rustics ‘Renan understood us to be’. But if only in the context of the references in the preceding and following sentences to ‘them’ rather than ‘us’, the overall discussion implies a criticism not of what Renan thought about ‘us’, but about the Semites.

14

To translate accolés; accoler involves the sense of existing side by side and carries the meaning of a mosaic rather than a melting pot.

15

Mauss is referring here to Roscoe (1924: 209).

i

See our Essai sur le Sacrifice, Année Sociologique II [Hubert and Mauss 1899].

ii

Lods, La tradition orale, etc., Rev. de l’Histoire des Religions, 1924 [Lods 1923].

iv

L’Etablissement des Israélites en Palestine, Rev. de l’Hist. des Religions, 1923–1924 [Weill 1923].

vi

It would not be difficult to write a volume about the numerous commentaries of all kinds on the documents we are going to study. Biblical eschatology and the legend of the patriarchs are among the richest subjects. We will spare our teacher, Israël Lévi, a list of sources, even a bibliography of dictionaries of the Bible.

vii

The Septuagint text is very different on this point and much more detailed than Genesis.

viii

Sara with Pharaoh, Gen XII, 11, et sq.; Sara with Abimelech of Guerar, Gen XX, 12, et sq. The same story is repeated in regard to Isaac and Rebecca as well as Abimelech. Sara is Abraham’s paternal half-sister, and Rebecca, a first cousin, is likewise a half-sister of the patriarch.

ix

Gen XXII, 16; ober lasoher.

x

On this, we recommend reading the works on the ethnography of the Hebrews by Goldstein, most of them published in Globus, from 1908 to 1914, and the excellent chapters of E. Meyer, Histoire de l’Anitiquité, § 320 et sq [Meyer 1926].

xi

Studies on Semitic Kinship (London School of Oriental Studies), vol. III, vol. IV [Seligman 1923].

xii

Similarly the Sumerians, founders of Kis´, had already conceived of themselves as pastoralists: witness the fine slabs of applied copper and the engraved palettes that depict cows being milked and so on (from the third millennium at least).

xiii

Generally, it is well known that Israel is an artificial name. Cf. art. Israël in Cheyne, Encyclopaedia Biblica [Guthe 1903]. The recent work on this question is that of Sachse: Der Ursprung des Namens Israël, Zischr. f. Semitistik, IV, p. 63, 69, against Caspari, Zeitschr. f. Alttest. Wiss., 1914, etc. [Sachsse 1914, 1926 and Caspari 1924]. Incidentally, Abraham and Sara also go through a changing of name in a similar way. For my part, I see no linguistic difficulty in admitting the etymology Ish-Rahel, only in the fact that the children of Rachel are Joseph and Benjamin and not Israel. But this changing of names from phratry to tribe, from tribe to nation, then from nation to a sub-section of the nation is a normal thing and often even the best evidence of historical events. It is possible that all of this hides very distant and hazy pasts. In any case, the phratry aspect of descendants of Jacob is well marked by a trait of the legend in which the children of Lea and those of Rachel live on the two sides of the Jordan, in pastoral lands for sheep and cows.

xiv

See Gen XXX, XXXVII, et sq., rite of rod/cane/penis (verges); cf. XXXI, 10.

xv

Guide des Egarés, Munk, III, p. 398, 399 [Maimonides 1856]. We know that the Targoum of Onkelos had already formulated this principle under a general form, not restricted just to ovines, and that Philo, de Caritate, considered the custom of Moab was cruel.

xvi

We know little of the mixed societies of Hamites and Bantus.

xvii

See Année sociologique, n.s. 1, under Roscoe [Mauss 1925b].

xviii

This is well demonstrated by the results of the excavations of Byblos and Beisan.

xix

For the Touaregs and the Arabized Nilo-Tchadiens, see Goldstein in Globus, 1912.

xx

For the growth of all these cults of milk in Africa, particularly among Bantu pastoralists and hottentots, see Frazer, Folklore de l’Ancien Testament (abridged) p. 322 et sq. [Frazer 1924], along with numerous facts on the Baganda, etc.

xxi

Roscoe, Bakitara, Banyankolé, Bagesu, III vol. (Mackie Expedition), 1922–1923 [Roscoe 1924].

xxii

Gen XXX, 31 sq.

xxiii

Banyankolé, p. 15 and 16.

xxiv

Sulzberger, The Status of Labour in Ancient Israël, Dropsie College, 1923, has demonstrated well how the Hebrews opposed the sedentary colonized serfs as masters.

xxv

Cf. Abrégé du Folklore de l’Ancien Testament, loc. cit. [Frazer 1924]; cf. Année Sociologique, t. IX, p. 190; t. XII, p. 145 [Mauss 1906, 1913].

xxvi

Cf. the prohibition on tendon meat, Gen. XXXII, 32. Bakitara p. 14 and 16, Banyankolé, p. 5 et sq.

xxvii

Roscoe employs the word muziro, in order to refer to a clan prohibition and it is translated, with a little exaggeration, as ‘totem’.

xxviii

Bakitara, p. 152; Banyankolé, p. 58.

xxix

See discussion of Merker, Masaï, in Année Sociologique, IX [Mauss 1906].

References

  • Adorisio, C. 2012. ‘The Debate between Salomon Munk and Heinrich Ritter on Medieval Jewish and Arabic History of Philosophy’, European Journal of Jewish Studies 6 (1): 169182.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adorisio, C. 2013. ‘“The Seal of the Guide”: Hermann Cohen on Salomon Munk’s Translation of Maimonides’ Guide of The Perplexed’, Naharaim 2: 195207.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arendt, H. 1973. The Origins of Totalitarianism, new edn. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

  • Asad, T. 2011. ‘Thinking about Religion, Belief and Politics’, in R. Orsi (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3657.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Balibar, E., and I. Wallerstein. 1991. Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities. London and New York: Verso.

  • Benslama, F. 2009. Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam. Trans. R. Bononno. Minneapolis, MI: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Bernal, M. 1987. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

  • Caspari, W. 1924. ‘Sprachliche und religionsgeschichtliche Bedeutung des Namens Israel’, Zeitschrift für Semitistik und verwandte Gebiete 3: 194211.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clay, A.T. 1923. The Origin of Biblical Traditions: Hebrew Legends in Babylonia and Israel. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Clines, D. 2007. The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

  • Davidson, B. 1959. The Lost Cities of Africa. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co.

  • Derrida, J. 1998. Of Grammatology. Trans. G. Spivak. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • Fournier, M. 2006. Marcel Mauss: A Biography. Trans. J.M. Todd. Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

  • Frazer, J.G. 1919. Folklore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion, Legend and Law, 3 vols. London: Macmillan.

  • Frazer, J.G. 1924. Le Folklore dans l’Ancien Testament, abridged. Trans. E. Andra. Paris: Paul Geuthner.

  • Freedman, H., and M. Simon. 1983. Midrash Rabbah. London and New York: Soncino Press.

  • Gesenius, W. 1906. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, with an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic. Trans. E. Robinson. Boston, MA and New York: Riverside Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guthe, H. 1903. ‘Israel’, in T.K. Cheyne and J. Sutherland Black (eds), Encyclopaedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary, Political and Religious History, the Archaeology, Geography and Natural History of the Bible, vol. 2. New York: Macmillan, pp. 22172289.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hubert, H., and M. Mauss. 1899. ‘Essai sur la nature et la fonction du sacrifice’, Année sociologique 2: 29138.

  • Ivry, A. 2000. ‘Salomon Munk and the Mélanges de philosophie juive et arabe’, Jewish Studies Quarterly 7(2): 120126.

  • Klein, E.D. 1987. A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English. Jerusalem: Carta, University of Haifa.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lee, S. 1840. A Lexicon, Hebrew, Chaldee and English: Compiled from the Most Approved Sources, Oriental and European, Jewish and Christian: Containing All the Words with Their Usual Inflexion, Idiomatic Usages, etc., as Found in the Hebrew and Chaldee Texts of the Old Testament. London: Duncan and Malcolm.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lods, A. 1923. ‘Le rôle de la tradition orale dans la formation des récits de l’Ancien Testament’, Revue de l’histoire des religions 88: 5164.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maimonides (Moïse ben Maimon). 1856. Le Guide des égarés. Traité de théologie et de philosophie. Trans. S. Munk. Paris: A. Franck.

  • Mamdani, M. 1976. Politics and Class Formation in Uganda. London: Heinemann.

  • Mamdani, M. 1983. Imperialism and Fascism in Uganda. London: Heinemann.

  • Mamdani, M. 2001. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Massad, J. 2013. ‘Forget Semitism!’, in E. Weber (ed.), Living Together: Jacques Derrida’s Communities of Violence and Peace. New York: Fordham University Press, pp. 5979.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1906. ‘Review of M. Merker, Die Masai, and of A.C. Hollis, The Masai’, Année sociologique 9: 184190; reprinted in Mauss 1969, vol. 2: 53743.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1909. La Prière. I. Les Origines, privately printed and circulated; reprinted in Mauss 1968, vol. 1: 357477; tr. Mauss 2003.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1913. ‘Review of B. Gutmann, Dichten und Denken der Dschagganeger, C. Hobley, Ethnology of the Akamba, W.S. and K.S. Routledge, The Akikuyu, and A.C. Hollis, The Nandi’, Année sociologique 12: 142146; reprinted in Mauss 1968, vol. 1: 543546.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1925a. ‘Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques’, Année sociologique, n.s. 1: 3086; tr. Mauss 1954.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1925b. ‘Review of J. Roscoe’, Année sociologique, n.s. 1: 432436; reprinted in Mauss 1969, vol. 2: 550553.

  • Mauss, M. 1925c. ‘Sur un texte de Posidonius. Le suicide, contre-prestation suprême’, Revue celtique 42: 324329; reprinted in Mauss 1969, vol. 3: 5257.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1926, ‘Critique interne de la “Légende d’Abraham”’, Revue des études juives 82: 3544; reprinted in Mauss 1969, vol. 2: 527536.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1935. ‘Les techniques du corps’, Journal de psychologie 32: 271293; tr. Mauss 1973.

  • Mauss, M. 1938. ‘Une catégorie de l’esprit humain: la notion de personne, celle de “moi”, un plan de travail’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 68: 263281; tr. Mauss 1979.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1939. ‘Différences entre les migrations des Germains et des Celtes’, Revue de synthèse 17: 2224; reprinted in Maus 1969, vol. 2: 570573.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1947. Manuel d’ethnographie. Paris: Payot; tr. Mauss 2007.

  • Mauss, M. 1954. The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Ancient Societies. Trans. I. Cunnison. London: Cohen and West.

  • Mauss, M. 1968–69. Œuvres, 3 vols. Ed. V. Karady. Paris: Éditions de Minuit.

  • Mauss, M. 1973. ‘Techniques of the Body’, trans. B. Brewster, Economy and Society 2: 7088.

  • Mauss, M. 1979. ‘A Category of the Human Mind: The Notion of the Person; the Notion of the Self’, in M. Mauss, Sociology and Psychology, trans. B. Brewster. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1998. ‘An Intellectual Self-Portrait’, trans. N.J. Allen, in W. James and N.J. Allen (eds), Marcel Mauss: A Centenary Tribute. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 2942.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 2003. On Prayer. Trans. S. Leslie. Oxford and New York: Durkheim Press/Berghahn Books.

  • Mauss, M. 2007. Manual of Ethnography. Trans. D. Lussier. Oxford and New York: Durkheim Press/Berghahn Books.

  • Mauss, M., and P. Fauconnet. 1901. ‘Sociologie’, La grande encyclopédie 30: 165176; reprinted in Mauss 1968, vol. 3: 139177.

  • Meillet, A. 1923. ‘Renan linguiste’, special issue on Ernest Renan, Journal de Psychologie 20: 33134.

  • Meyer, E. 1926. Histoire de l’antiquité. La Babylonie et les sémites jusqu’à l’époque cassite, vol. 3. Trans. C. Etienne. Paris: Librairie Paul Gauthier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Munk, S. 1881. Philosophy and Philosophical Authors of the Jews: A Historical Sketch with Explanatory Notes. Trans. I. Kalisch. Cincinatti, OH: Bloch and Co.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Renan, E. 1890. The History of the Origins of Christianity, 7 vols. London: Mathieson and Co.

  • Renan, E. 1943. ‘Judaism: Race or Religion?’, Contemporary Jewish Record. American Jewish Committee (AJC) 6 (4): 436448.

  • Roscoe, J. 1924. The Bagesu and Other Tribes of the Uganda Protectorate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sachsse, E. 1914. ‘Die Etymologie und älteste Aussprache des Namens לאךשי’, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 34 (1): 115.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sachsse, E. 1926. ‘Der Ursprung des Namens Israel’, Zeitschrift für Semitistik und verwandte Gebiete 4: 6369.

  • Said, E. 1979. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.

  • Sanders, E. 1969. ‘The Hamitic Hypothesis: Its Origins and Functions in Time Perspective’, Journal of African History 10 (4): 521532.

  • Schmitt, C. 2005. Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. Trans. G. Schwab. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seillière, E. 1903–1908. La Philosophie de l’impérialisme, 4 vols. Paris: Plon-Nourrit.

  • Seligman, B.Z. 1923. ‘Studies in Semitic Kinship’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 3 (1): 5168.

  • Spivak, G.C. 1999. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards A History of the Vanishing Present. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Strenski, I. 1997. Durkheim and the Jews of France. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Sulzberger, M. 1923. The Status of Labor in Ancient Israel. Philadelphia, PA: The Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning.

  • Taubes, J. 2004. The Political Theology of Paul. Trans. D. Hollander. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Taubes, J. 2010. From Cult to Culture: Fragments towards a Critique of Historical Reason. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Weber, E. (ed.). 2013. Living Together: Jacques Derrida’s Communities of Violence and Peace. New York: Fordham University Press.

  • Weill, R. 1923. ‘L’Installation des Israélites en Palestine et la légende des Patriarches’, Revue de l’histoire des religions 87: 69120 and 88: 144.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Contributor Notes

Translator’s Note

Mauss’s original notes appear as footnotes (i, ii, iii etc). Editorial notes appear as endnotes (1, 2, 3 etc). All square brackets are absent from the original text, and have been especially inserted in Mauss’s footnotes to help with clarifying or correcting his references. The bibliography provided at the end lists these together with the references in our introduction and endnotes.

Durkheimian Studies

Études Durkheimiennes

  • Adorisio, C. 2012. ‘The Debate between Salomon Munk and Heinrich Ritter on Medieval Jewish and Arabic History of Philosophy’, European Journal of Jewish Studies 6 (1): 169182.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adorisio, C. 2013. ‘“The Seal of the Guide”: Hermann Cohen on Salomon Munk’s Translation of Maimonides’ Guide of The Perplexed’, Naharaim 2: 195207.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arendt, H. 1973. The Origins of Totalitarianism, new edn. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

  • Asad, T. 2011. ‘Thinking about Religion, Belief and Politics’, in R. Orsi (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3657.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Balibar, E., and I. Wallerstein. 1991. Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities. London and New York: Verso.

  • Benslama, F. 2009. Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam. Trans. R. Bononno. Minneapolis, MI: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Bernal, M. 1987. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

  • Caspari, W. 1924. ‘Sprachliche und religionsgeschichtliche Bedeutung des Namens Israel’, Zeitschrift für Semitistik und verwandte Gebiete 3: 194211.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clay, A.T. 1923. The Origin of Biblical Traditions: Hebrew Legends in Babylonia and Israel. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Clines, D. 2007. The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

  • Davidson, B. 1959. The Lost Cities of Africa. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co.

  • Derrida, J. 1998. Of Grammatology. Trans. G. Spivak. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • Fournier, M. 2006. Marcel Mauss: A Biography. Trans. J.M. Todd. Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

  • Frazer, J.G. 1919. Folklore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion, Legend and Law, 3 vols. London: Macmillan.

  • Frazer, J.G. 1924. Le Folklore dans l’Ancien Testament, abridged. Trans. E. Andra. Paris: Paul Geuthner.

  • Freedman, H., and M. Simon. 1983. Midrash Rabbah. London and New York: Soncino Press.

  • Gesenius, W. 1906. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, with an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic. Trans. E. Robinson. Boston, MA and New York: Riverside Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guthe, H. 1903. ‘Israel’, in T.K. Cheyne and J. Sutherland Black (eds), Encyclopaedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary, Political and Religious History, the Archaeology, Geography and Natural History of the Bible, vol. 2. New York: Macmillan, pp. 22172289.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hubert, H., and M. Mauss. 1899. ‘Essai sur la nature et la fonction du sacrifice’, Année sociologique 2: 29138.

  • Ivry, A. 2000. ‘Salomon Munk and the Mélanges de philosophie juive et arabe’, Jewish Studies Quarterly 7(2): 120126.

  • Klein, E.D. 1987. A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English. Jerusalem: Carta, University of Haifa.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lee, S. 1840. A Lexicon, Hebrew, Chaldee and English: Compiled from the Most Approved Sources, Oriental and European, Jewish and Christian: Containing All the Words with Their Usual Inflexion, Idiomatic Usages, etc., as Found in the Hebrew and Chaldee Texts of the Old Testament. London: Duncan and Malcolm.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lods, A. 1923. ‘Le rôle de la tradition orale dans la formation des récits de l’Ancien Testament’, Revue de l’histoire des religions 88: 5164.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maimonides (Moïse ben Maimon). 1856. Le Guide des égarés. Traité de théologie et de philosophie. Trans. S. Munk. Paris: A. Franck.

  • Mamdani, M. 1976. Politics and Class Formation in Uganda. London: Heinemann.

  • Mamdani, M. 1983. Imperialism and Fascism in Uganda. London: Heinemann.

  • Mamdani, M. 2001. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Massad, J. 2013. ‘Forget Semitism!’, in E. Weber (ed.), Living Together: Jacques Derrida’s Communities of Violence and Peace. New York: Fordham University Press, pp. 5979.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1906. ‘Review of M. Merker, Die Masai, and of A.C. Hollis, The Masai’, Année sociologique 9: 184190; reprinted in Mauss 1969, vol. 2: 53743.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1909. La Prière. I. Les Origines, privately printed and circulated; reprinted in Mauss 1968, vol. 1: 357477; tr. Mauss 2003.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1913. ‘Review of B. Gutmann, Dichten und Denken der Dschagganeger, C. Hobley, Ethnology of the Akamba, W.S. and K.S. Routledge, The Akikuyu, and A.C. Hollis, The Nandi’, Année sociologique 12: 142146; reprinted in Mauss 1968, vol. 1: 543546.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1925a. ‘Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques’, Année sociologique, n.s. 1: 3086; tr. Mauss 1954.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1925b. ‘Review of J. Roscoe’, Année sociologique, n.s. 1: 432436; reprinted in Mauss 1969, vol. 2: 550553.

  • Mauss, M. 1925c. ‘Sur un texte de Posidonius. Le suicide, contre-prestation suprême’, Revue celtique 42: 324329; reprinted in Mauss 1969, vol. 3: 5257.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1926, ‘Critique interne de la “Légende d’Abraham”’, Revue des études juives 82: 3544; reprinted in Mauss 1969, vol. 2: 527536.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1935. ‘Les techniques du corps’, Journal de psychologie 32: 271293; tr. Mauss 1973.

  • Mauss, M. 1938. ‘Une catégorie de l’esprit humain: la notion de personne, celle de “moi”, un plan de travail’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 68: 263281; tr. Mauss 1979.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1939. ‘Différences entre les migrations des Germains et des Celtes’, Revue de synthèse 17: 2224; reprinted in Maus 1969, vol. 2: 570573.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1947. Manuel d’ethnographie. Paris: Payot; tr. Mauss 2007.

  • Mauss, M. 1954. The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Ancient Societies. Trans. I. Cunnison. London: Cohen and West.

  • Mauss, M. 1968–69. Œuvres, 3 vols. Ed. V. Karady. Paris: Éditions de Minuit.

  • Mauss, M. 1973. ‘Techniques of the Body’, trans. B. Brewster, Economy and Society 2: 7088.

  • Mauss, M. 1979. ‘A Category of the Human Mind: The Notion of the Person; the Notion of the Self’, in M. Mauss, Sociology and Psychology, trans. B. Brewster. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 1998. ‘An Intellectual Self-Portrait’, trans. N.J. Allen, in W. James and N.J. Allen (eds), Marcel Mauss: A Centenary Tribute. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 2942.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mauss, M. 2003. On Prayer. Trans. S. Leslie. Oxford and New York: Durkheim Press/Berghahn Books.

  • Mauss, M. 2007. Manual of Ethnography. Trans. D. Lussier. Oxford and New York: Durkheim Press/Berghahn Books.

  • Mauss, M., and P. Fauconnet. 1901. ‘Sociologie’, La grande encyclopédie 30: 165176; reprinted in Mauss 1968, vol. 3: 139177.

  • Meillet, A. 1923. ‘Renan linguiste’, special issue on Ernest Renan, Journal de Psychologie 20: 33134.

  • Meyer, E. 1926. Histoire de l’antiquité. La Babylonie et les sémites jusqu’à l’époque cassite, vol. 3. Trans. C. Etienne. Paris: Librairie Paul Gauthier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Munk, S. 1881. Philosophy and Philosophical Authors of the Jews: A Historical Sketch with Explanatory Notes. Trans. I. Kalisch. Cincinatti, OH: Bloch and Co.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Renan, E. 1890. The History of the Origins of Christianity, 7 vols. London: Mathieson and Co.

  • Renan, E. 1943. ‘Judaism: Race or Religion?’, Contemporary Jewish Record. American Jewish Committee (AJC) 6 (4): 436448.

  • Roscoe, J. 1924. The Bagesu and Other Tribes of the Uganda Protectorate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sachsse, E. 1914. ‘Die Etymologie und älteste Aussprache des Namens לאךשי’, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 34 (1): 115.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sachsse, E. 1926. ‘Der Ursprung des Namens Israel’, Zeitschrift für Semitistik und verwandte Gebiete 4: 6369.

  • Said, E. 1979. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.

  • Sanders, E. 1969. ‘The Hamitic Hypothesis: Its Origins and Functions in Time Perspective’, Journal of African History 10 (4): 521532.

  • Schmitt, C. 2005. Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. Trans. G. Schwab. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seillière, E. 1903–1908. La Philosophie de l’impérialisme, 4 vols. Paris: Plon-Nourrit.

  • Seligman, B.Z. 1923. ‘Studies in Semitic Kinship’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 3 (1): 5168.

  • Spivak, G.C. 1999. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards A History of the Vanishing Present. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Strenski, I. 1997. Durkheim and the Jews of France. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Sulzberger, M. 1923. The Status of Labor in Ancient Israel. Philadelphia, PA: The Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning.

  • Taubes, J. 2004. The Political Theology of Paul. Trans. D. Hollander. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Taubes, J. 2010. From Cult to Culture: Fragments towards a Critique of Historical Reason. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Weber, E. (ed.). 2013. Living Together: Jacques Derrida’s Communities of Violence and Peace. New York: Fordham University Press.

  • Weill, R. 1923. ‘L’Installation des Israélites en Palestine et la légende des Patriarches’, Revue de l’histoire des religions 87: 69120 and 88: 144.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 54 54 26
PDF Downloads 14 14 3