Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Jacob's TearsThe Priestly Work of Reconciliation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mary Douglas

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199265237

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199265232.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 April 2020



(p.1) Preface
Jacob's Tears

Mary Douglas

Oxford University Press

The author discusses the origin of her book and its purpose, which she describes as setting the two main priestly books of the Pentateuch – the Books of Leviticus and Numbers – in (an anthropologist's) context. These Books are regarded by the author as having a strong shared political commitment: the keeping alive of the legendary alliance of the twelve sons of Jacob, and the advocacy of peace with Samaria, at the time when the Second Temple community of Israel was drawing its boundaries and redefining itself as an exclusive religious group and Samaria was standing out as a dangerous enemy. The scheme of this book is described, and the origins of the controversies that have arisen over interpretation of the Pentateuch outlined, along with discussion of the probable views of the priestly editors (both in exile and on return) on ecstatic cults and the resulting reinforcement of the orderly and theorized approach they took to renewing the old religion. The final section of the Preface returns to the theme of problems of translation and meaning and the concerns of the priestly editors in the different chapters of the book.

Keywords:   aim of the book, exclusionism, interpretation, Israel, Leviticus, meaning, Numbers, Pentateuch, political commitment, priestly editors, Samaria, Second Temple, sons of Jacob

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .