Purity Sacrifice and the Temple

Author: Jonathan Klawans
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195395840
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Ancient Jewish sacrifice has long been misunderstood. Some find in sacrifice the key to the mysterious and violent origins of human culture. Others see these cultic rituals as merely the fossilized vestiges of primitive superstition. Some believe that ancient Jewish sacrifice was doomed from the start, destined to be replaced by the Christian eucharist. Others think that the temple was fated to be superseded by the synagogue. In Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple Jonathan Klawans demonstrates that these supersessionist ideologies have prevented scholars from recognizing the Jerusalem temple as a powerful source of meaning and symbolism to the ancient Jews who worshiped there. Klawans exposes and counters such ideologies by reviewing the theoretical literature on sacrifice and taking a fresh look at a broad range of evidence concerning ancient Jewish attitudes toward the temple and its sacrificial cult. The first step toward reaching a more balanced view is to integrate the study of sacrifice with the study of purity-a ritual structure that has commonly been understood as symbolic by scholars and laypeople alike. The second step is to rehabilitate sacrificial metaphors, with the understanding that these metaphors are windows into the ways sacrifice was understood by ancient Jews. By taking these steps-and by removing contemporary religious and cultural biases-Klawans allows us to better understand what sacrifice meant to the early communities who practiced it. Armed with this new understanding, Klawans reevaluates the ideas about the temple articulated in a wide array of ancient sources, including Josephus, Philo, Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and Rabbinic literature. Klawans mines these sources with an eye toward illuminating the symbolic meanings of sacrifice for ancient Jews. Along the way, he reconsiders the ostensible rejection of the cult by the biblical prophets, the Qumran sect, and Jesus. While these figures may have seen the temple in their time as tainted or even defiled, Klawans argues, they too-like practically all ancient Jews-believed in the cult, accepted its symbolic significance, and hoped for its ultimate efficacy.

2006 2007

Author:
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISBN: 311094149X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism

Author: Jonathan Klawans
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199928622
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Though considered one of the most important informants about Judaism in the first century CE, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus's testimony is often overlooked or downplayed. Jonathan Klawans's Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism reexamines Josephus's descriptions of sectarian disagreements concerning determinism and free will, the afterlife, and scriptural authority. In each case, Josephus's testimony is analyzed in light of his works' general concerns as well as relevant biblical, rabbinic, and Dead Sea texts. Many scholars today argue that ancient Jewish sectarian disputes revolved primarily or even exclusively around matters of ritual law, such as calendar, cultic practices, or priestly succession. Josephus, however, indicates that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes disagreed about matters of theology, such as afterlife and determinism. Similarly, many scholars today argue that ancient Judaism was thrust into a theological crisis in the wake of the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE, yet Josephus's works indicate that Jews were readily able to make sense of the catastrophe in light of biblical precedents and contemporary beliefs. Without denying the importance of Jewish law-and recognizing Josephus's embellishments and exaggerations-Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism calls for a renewed focus on Josephus's testimony, and models an approach to ancient Judaism that gives theological questions a deserved place alongside matters of legal concern. Ancient Jewish theology was indeed significant, diverse, and sufficiently robust to respond to the crisis of its day.

Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice

Author: Jennifer Wright Knust
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199876401
Format: PDF
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An investigation of the multiple meanings and functions of sacrifice in diverse religious texts and practices from the late Hellenistic and Roman imperial periods.

A Communion of Subjects

Author: Paul Waldau
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231509979
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A Communion of Subjects is the first comparative and interdisciplinary study of the conceptualization of animals in world religions. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including Thomas Berry (cultural history), Wendy Doniger (study of myth), Elizabeth Lawrence (veterinary medicine, ritual studies), Marc Bekoff (cognitive ethology), Marc Hauser (behavioral science), Steven Wise (animals and law), Peter Singer (animals and ethics), and Jane Goodall (primatology) consider how major religious traditions have incorporated animals into their belief systems, myths, rituals, and art. Their findings offer profound insights into humans' relationships with animals and a deeper understanding of the social and ecological web in which we all live. Contributors examine Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, African religions, traditions from ancient Egypt and early China, and Native American, indigenous Tibetan, and Australian Aboriginal traditions, among others. They explore issues such as animal consciousness, suffering, sacrifice, and stewardship in innovative methodological ways. They also address contemporary challenges relating to law, biotechnology, social justice, and the environment. By grappling with the nature and ideological features of various religious views, the contributors cast religious teachings and practices in a new light. They reveal how we either intentionally or inadvertently marginalize "others," whether they are human or otherwise, reflecting on the ways in which we assign value to living beings. Though it is an ancient concern, the topic of "Religion and Animals" has yet to be systematically studied by modern scholars. This groundbreaking collection takes the first steps toward a meaningful analysis.

Temple Purity in 1 2 Corinthians

Author: Yulin Liu
Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
ISBN: 9783161523809
Format: PDF
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Paul's view of the church as the temple and his concern about its purity in 1-2 Corinthians has traditionally been interpreted from the perspective of a Jewish background. However, Yulin Liu reveals that the pagans were very aware of temple purity when visiting some temples in the Greco-Roman world, and the purification concerns of three pagan temples in Corinth are documented in his work. The author affirms that the Gentile believers among the Corinthian community were able to grasp Paul's message because of it. Also, Liu investigates Paul's use of temple purity to address the necessity of unity, holiness and faithfulness of the Corinthian Christians in an eschatological sense. The separation of God's people from profane matters actually points to a new exodus and a progressive consummation of the construction of the eschatological temple-community.

Apocalypse Against Empire

Author: Anathea Portier-Young
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 0802865984
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A fresh and daring take on ancient apocalyptic books. The year 167 b.c.e. marked the beginning of a period of intense persecution for the people of Judea, as Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted forcibly and brutally to eradicate traditional Jewish religious practices. In Apocalypse against Empire Anathea Portier-Young reconstructs the historical events and key players in this traumatic episode in Jewish history and provides a sophisticated treatment of resistance in early Judaism. Building on a solid contextual foundation, Portier-Young argues that the first Jewish apocalypses emerged as a literature of resistance to Hellenistic imperial rule. She makes a sturdy case for this argument by examining three extant apocalypses, giving careful attention to the interplay between social theory, history, textual studies, and theological analysis. In particular, Portier-Young contends, the book of Daniel, the Apocalypse of Weeks, and the Book of Dreams were written to supply an oppressed people with a potent antidote to the destructive propaganda of the empire renewing their faith in the God of the covenant and answering state terror with radical visions of hope..

Social Theory and the Study of Israelite Religion

Author: Saul M. Olyan
Publisher: Society of Biblical Lit
ISBN: 1589836898
Format: PDF, Docs
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This volume assesses past, theoretically engaged work on Israelite religion and presents new approaches to particular problems and larger interpretive and methodological questions. It gathers previously unpublished research by senior and mid-career scholars well known for their contributions in the area of social theory and the study of Israelite religion and by junior scholars whose writing is just beginning to have a serious impact on the field. The volume begins with a critical introduction by the editor. Topics of interest to the contributors include gender, violence, social change, the festivals, the dynamics of shame and honor, and the relationship of text to ritual. The contributors engage theory from social and cultural anthropology, sociology, postcolonial studies, and ritual studies. Theoretical models are evaluated in light of the primary data, and some authors modify or adapt theory to increase its utility for biblical studies. The contributors are Susan Ackerman, Stephen L. Cook, Ronald Hendel, T. M. Lemos, Nathaniel B. Levtow, Carol Meyers, Saul M. Olyan, Rüdiger Schmitt, Robert R. Wilson, and David P. Wright.