Is the ‘Martyrdom’ of Human Bombers a ‘Sacrifice’?

Ugo Fabietti


There is a tendency to view as ‘sacrificial’ any act that, even at a distance, evokes the twofold dimension of a renunciation and/or gift for the purpose of receiving a benefit in return.1 However, the sacrificial dimension is tinged with a particularly dramatic character when evoked within ritual references to war or religion. In both of these contexts, sacrifice is a means of ‘thinking’ about the dimension of transcendence (the Kingdom of Heaven, God, one’s country, community, ideals, etc), that is to say, something that transcends and surpasses the individual as a mortal subject, transposing him or her into an eternal dimension; importantly, transcendence can, and in many cases must, be accomplished by means of an act of violence.

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