Purity Sacrifice and the Temple

Author: Jonathan Klawans
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195162633
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Jonathan Klawans examines the relationship between purity and sacrifice in ancient Judaism, asserting that purification and sacrifice are inter-related and arguing that, like purity, sacrifice ought not to be dismissed as a curious and repulsive behaviour.

Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism

Author: Jonathan Klawans
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199928614
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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.

Perspectives on Purity and Purification in the Bible

Author: Baruch J. Schwartz
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0567028321
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book is a collection of essays on purificaton and atonement in the Hebrew Bible that provides new insights into the discussion of these ideas by looking at the values of sociological and anthropological approaches to the topics. The collection also examines multivalence and polyvalence in ritual and asks to what extent it is possible to speak of the function or meaning of ritual, even within the highly systematic priestly texts.

Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice

Author: Jennifer Wright Knust
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199738963
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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.

Cult and Character

Author: Roy Gane
Publisher: Eisenbrauns
ISBN: 1575061015
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Roy Gane critically evaluates Jacob Milgrom's purification-offering theory but ultimately affirms and expands on his seminal insight that theodicy is foundational to the Israelite expiatory system. Gane's conclusions are derived from exegetical study of Hebrew ritual texts and by adapting a systems theory approach to human activity systems.

Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus

Author: James W. Watts
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139464673
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Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus uses rhetorical analysis to expose the motives behind the writing of the central book of the Torah/Pentateuch and its persuasive function in ancient Judaism. The answer to the question, 'who was trying to persuade whom of what by writing these texts?' proves to be quite consistent throughout Leviticus 1-16: Aaronide high priests and their supporters used this book to legitimize their monopoly over the ritual offerings of Jews and Samaritans. With this priestly rhetoric at its center, the Torah supported the rise to power of two priestly dynasties in Second Temple Judaism. Their ascendancy in turn elevated the prestige and rhetorical power to the book, making it the first real scripture in Near Eastern and Western religious traditions.

Ritual and Metaphor

Author: Christian Eberhart
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN: 9789004211643
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The sanctuary and rituals of ancient Judaism are long gone, yet their concepts, especially that of sacrifice, have remained essential to the rhetoric of politics, religion, and secular culture. The essays in this volume deal with central aspects of sacrificial rituals and processes of metaphor development and spiritualization in Judaism and Christianity.

The Memoirs of God

Author: Mark S. Smith
Publisher: Fortress Press
ISBN: 9781451413977
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This insightful work examines the variety of ways that collective memory, oral tradition, history, and history writing intersect. Integral to all this are the ways in which ancient Israel was shaped by the monarchy, the Babylonian exile, and the dispersions of Judeans and the ways in which Israel conceptualized and interacted with the divine-Yahweh as well as other deities.

Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities

Author: Christine E. Hayes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198034469
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In ancient Jewish culture the ideas of purity and impurity defined the socio-cultural boundaries between Jews and Gentiles. Hayes argues that different views of the possibility of conversion, based on varying ideas about Gentile impurity, were the key factor in the formation of Jewish sects in the second temple period, and in the separation of the early Christian Church from what later became rabbinic Judaism.

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.