Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism

Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism

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In this book Klawans examines the relationship between purity and sacrifice in ancient Judaism. Klawans asserts that purification and sacrifice are clearly interrelated (as evidenced by the fact that purification is the first step in the sacrificial process) and argues that like purity, sacrifice ought not to be dismissed as a curious and repulsive behavior lacking meaning even in its own time and context. The best way to arrive at a sympathetic appreciation of sacrifice in context, according to Klawans, is to rehabilitate sacrificial metaphors, because these metaphors are windows into the ways in which sacrifice was understood by those employing them. Klawans's innovation is to insist that ancient Jews could recognize a metaphor when they saw one. Sacrificial metaphors were used symbolically not literally. Klawans thus disables evolutionist accounts of ancient Jewish sacrifice as a primitive and spiritually empty behavior that was rejected and superseded by the Eucharist in Christianity or by prayer in rabbinic Judaism. He argues the sacrifice was a spiritually rich and meaningful activity. Armed with this new understanding of sacrifice, Klawans offers fresh readings of central New Testament and rabbinic texts.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 154.9 x 233.7 x 33mm | 635.04g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195162633
  • 9780195162639
  • 2,039,193

Review quote

This book comprises a powerful argument for a paradigm shift in the study of sacrifice, and needs to be read by anyone interested in sacrifice or ritual. P. P. Jenson, Journal for the Study of the Old Testamentshow more

About Jonathan Klawans

Jonathan Klawans is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. His book Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism (OUP 2000) was awarded Best First Book in the History of Religions by the American Academy of Religion and won the Salo Wittmayer Baron Book Prize from the American Academy for Jewish Research.show more

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