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Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 64 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.
This section contains 1,357 words
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Themes

Sacrifice and Atonement

The main theme of the book is the damage caused in human history by the idea of sacrifice that is embedded in Christian and pagan traditions. West sees this idea working at many levels in history. Her abhorrence of it becomes clear to her in Macedonia, when she witnesses a black lamb being sacrificed on a rock in a fertility rite. She objects to the idea that the infliction of pain and death on one creature can cause another to become fertile.

West traces the idea of sacrifice to the Christian doctrine of atonement, a concept she finds repugnant. According to this doctrine, which was developed by St. Paul and refined by St. Augustine, God sacrificed His son on the cross so that man could be freed from the punishment that his sins deserved. According to West:

This theory flouts reason at all points, for it...

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This section contains 1,357 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia Study Guide
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Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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