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Near to the heart of the human predicament are impulses to avenge - what most of us will recognize to be negative, counterproductive reactions against others who pose a threat. By contrast, nothing re-establishes our faith in humanity more than extraordinary acts of concession, such as peace-making, generosity and sacrifice. In this study Garry Trompf shows how various aspects of 'payback', both negative and positive, provide the best indices to an understanding of Melanesian views of life. The book explores the reasons why people 'pay back' and opens up a whole dimension in the cross-cultural study of human consciousness. The author conducts his readers through the most complex anthropological pageant on earth, illustrating his arguments from western New Guinea to Fiji.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521062770
ISBN-10: 0521062772
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 29mm)
Pages: 568
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 15-May-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Books By Author G. W. Trompf

Early Christian Historiography by G. W. Trompf

Early Christian Historiography

Paperback, November 2005
Melanesian Religion by G. W. Trompf

Melanesian Religion

Paperback, August 2004
Payback by G. W. Trompf


Hardback, July 1994