Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Bruce Lincoln  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

-- Website --
-- Bruce Lincoln on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Lincoln is Caroline E. Haskell Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information


Published Works

  • Priests, Warriors, and Cattle, A Study in the Ecology of Religions, University of California Press, 1981
  • Emerging from the Chrysalis, Studies in Rituals of Women`s Initiation, Harvard University Press, 1981
  • Myth, Cosmos, and Society, Indo-European Themes of Creation and Destruction, Harvard University Press, 1986
  • Discourse and the Construction of Society, Comparitive Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification, Oxford University Press, 1989
  • Death, War, and Sacrifice, Studies in Ideology and Practice, University of Chicago Press, 1991
  • Authority, Construction and Corrosion, University of Chicago Press, 1994,
  • Theorizing Myth, Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship, University of Chicago Press, 1999

Selected Titles At Your Library

Priests, warriors, and cattle :
ISBN: 0520038800. OCLC Number:

University of California Press,. Berkeley :. ©1981.

"Do cultures which have similar socio-economic and ecological bases also have similar religious systems? This is the basic issue raised in this book. Underlying this is the question of whether religion is to be seen as an independent, free-floating speculative entity, or whether it is rooted in and largely determined by the givens of culture, economy, and ecology. In other words, is religion primarily directed toward abstract universal concerns, or are practical and temporal matters a fundamental part of religious thought? To address this problem the author has selected a test case, in which two cultures, historically and geographically quite separate but ecologically and socio-economically quite similar, are compared. Two semi-settled pastoralist groups whose livelihood depends on the herding of cattle were selected: the present-day Nilotic peoples of Africa (Nuer, Dinka, and Masai) and the Proto-Indo-Iranians, who flourished about 2000 B.C. The religion of each group is examined in detail, with special emphasis being placed on the myths they recount, the rituals they practice, and the ways in which their societies are organized, as well as the gods they worship"--Book jacket.

Myth, cosmos, and society :
ISBN: 0674597753. OCLC Number:

Harvard University Press,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 1986.

Discourse and the construction of society :
ISBN: 0195079094. OCLC Number:

Oxford University Press,. New York :. 1989.

This is a paperback reprint of a book published in 1989. Lincoln explores the ways in which myth, ritual, and classification hold human societies together - and how, in times of crisis, they can be used to take a society apart and reconstruct it.

Death, war, and sacrifice :
ISBN: 0226482006. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1991.

Authority :
ISBN: 0226481972. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1994.

What is authority? How is it constituted? How ought one understand the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) relations between authority and coercion? Between authorized and subversive speech? In this fascinating and intricate analysis, Bruce Lincoln argues that authority is not an entity but an effect. More precisely, it is an effect that depends for its power on the combination of the right speaker, the right speech, the right staging and props, the right time and place, and an audience historically and culturally conditioned to judge what is right in all these instances and to respond with trust, respect, and even reverence.

Theorizing myth :
ISBN: 0226482022. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1999.

In Theorizing Myth, Bruce Lincoln explores how scholars and other have used the category of "myth" to fetishize or deride certain kinds of stories, usually those told by others. He begins by showing that mythos yielded to logos not as part of a (mythic) "Greek miracle," but as part of struggles over political, linguistic, and epistemological authority occasioned by expanded use of writing and the practice of Athenian democracy. Lincoln then turns his attention to the period when myth was recuperated as a privileged type of narrative, a process he locates in the political and cultural ferment of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Here, he connects renewed enthusiasm for myth to the nexus of Romanticism, nationalism, and Aryan triumphalism, particularly the quest for a language and set of stories on which nation-states could be founded. In the final section of this wide-ranging book, Lincoln advocates a fresh approach to the study of myth, providing varied case studies to support his view of myth - and scholarship on myth - as ideology in narrative form.

Holy terrors :
ISBN: 0226482030. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 2006.



Speaking Engagements

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