First published in 1973 by Pelican Books, Natural Symbols has been revised and given a new and thoroughly updated instorduction. As a classic, it represents a work of anthropology in its widest sense, exploring themes such as the social meaning of natural symbols and the image of the body in society. This work focuses on the ways in which cultures selectnatural symbols from the body, and how every natural symbol carries a social meaning.
Bringing anthropology into the realm of religion, Natural Symbols enters into the ongoing debate in religious circles surrounding meaning and ritual. The book not only provides a clear explanation to four distinct attitudes of religion, but defends hierarchical forms of religious organization, and attempts to retain a balanced judgment between fundamentalism and established religion.