19 April 2023

What is immolation? – Definition according to the Bible and characteristics of the act

By Donald

The immolate is a sacrificial practice ritual that is performed as an offering in honor of a deity, either of a human or animal life.

At present this extreme practice has been carried out by different groups, whether for political, social or religious purposes, to attract attention. Although immolation is quite a controversial practice, due to its extreme nature it has been encouraged and condemned throughout history.

Definition and concept of immolation

The word immolation derives from the Latin immolatio which, according to the translator, in Spanish means: action and effect of sacrificing an animal. Its etymological origin is composed of the prefix in- which means “Inside” and mola, which is a sacred flour that was placed on the victim prior to his sacrifice.

Its origins go back to ancient times, this dogma consists of sacrificing a life, animal or human in honor to God, even in Hinduism the practice of Sati is described, in which a woman immolated herself on the funeral pyre of her recently deceased husband. However, at present this name has also been given to suicide for religious, political, demonstration or civil disobedience purposes, in which the person spreads fuel on himself.

It is common for this act to take place in public places, seeking in this way to broaden its message. However, the consequences of this can be lethal or leave serious consequences both physical and psychological.

It is likely that one of the most famous acts occurred during the Vietnam War, when the Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức in the middle of a busy public road, was completely covered by gasoline, lighting a match and throwing it over his body. Realizing this due to the evident persecution that occurred towards his religion by the Vietnamese government.

Another well-known example was in Spain, during April 2004, a policeman belonging to the Special Operations Group dies and 11 others are injured. When trying to approach the floor where 4 terrorists were entrenched, who upon hearing them blew themselves up with more than 20 kg of explosives.

What is immolation according to the Bible?

according to the bible immolation it’s a sacrifice, which was often of an animal, the lamb is often the most mentioned in multiple verses. This ritual was executed as an offering to God in search of redemption or praise.

This act is mentioned several times in the Bible, such as in the story of abraham and isaacin which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, who obeys and just before the sacrifice an angel stops him, thus demonstrating his faith and obedience to God.

However, while immolation is a fairly common practice in Bible passages, it is not a habit promoted in modern Christianity. Since Christians see the death of Jesus Christ crucified as the ultimate sacrificebecause he dies for the sins of humanity, thus allowing eternal life.

What is immolate an animal?

Several remains of structures have been found in different archaeological excavations, where according to their investigations they reveal that they were used as stone altars dating from prehistoric times. In these structures, it is presumed that animals were sacrificed in honor of a deity, hoping in this way to get rain, abundant and good harvests.

This practice has been carried out in multiple ways and different cultures Through the years, for example in ancient Greece, different animals such as sheep, cows and goats were offered to the Gods for divination and other divine purposes.

Currently, this practice of animal immolation has become very controversial Due to concern about cruelty and animal welfare, legislation has even been enacted in various countries prohibiting such an act.

What are the characteristics of immolation?

Multiple characteristics that define immolation can be taken into consideration, such as:

  • Religious: It is practiced by a large number of religions, for multiple reasons, ranging from showing gratitude or requesting requests. It is usual that these acts are carried out as a show of extreme devotion.
  • Policy: Either to initiate a political or social change, inspiring the population to take action.
  • It is extreme: Immolation is a radical event which involves the sacrifice of a person or an animal.
  • Queer: Due to its nature it is an act that occurs infrequently, due to the potential danger it represents for all involved.
  • Intentional: This action is executed on purpose and personally, and is carried out for a specific purpose.
  • Controversial: Immolation is a controversial act, which can be seen as extreme and immoral by some, who allege that it is an unnecessary practice that generates pain and suffering. But it can also be supported and understood by sympathizers of the cause for which this action is carried out, justifying it as a legitimate form of protest.
  • Symbolic: Said event usually carries a distinctive meaning, which is closely related to the cause or message that the person wishes to express through sacrifice.
  • Social impact: Immolation has a high and profound effect on society, serving as a catalyst for change. Inspiring others to take action in this way, however, can also lead to violence and repression by authorities challenged with these acts.