Although women alone have the ability to bring children into the world, modern Western thought tends to discount this female prerogative. In Giving Life, Giving Death, Lucien Scubla argues that structural anthropology sees women as objects of exchange that facilitate alliance-building rather than as vectors of continuity between generations. Examining the work of Lévi-Strauss, Freud, and Girard, as well as ethnographic and clinical data, Giving Life, Giving Death seeks to explain why, in constructing their master theories, our greatest thinkers have consistently marginalized the cultural and biological fact of maternity. In the spirit of Freud’s Totem and Taboo, Scubla constructs an anthropology that posits a common source for family and religion. His wide-ranging study explores how rituals unite violence and the sacred and intertwine the giving of death and the giving of life.