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Purity, Sacrifice, and the TempleSymbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism$
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Jonathan Klawans

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162639.001.0001

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Sacrifice and Purity

Sacrifice and Purity

The Twisted Fortunes of Related Ritual Structures

(p.17) 1 Sacrifice and Purity
Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple

Jonathan Klawans (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews theories of sacrifice and interpretations of purity, finding disparities in the ways in which they have been understood by scholarship in recent times. It argues that three biases in particular have unduly affected the analysis of these rituals, with the result that sacrifice has been denied the symbolic understanding more typically applied to purity rites. These biases include Christian and Jewish supersessionism and a contemporary cultural ambivalence toward overt violent rituals. It employs methods inspired by Mary Douglas and argues against approach taken by René Girard.

Keywords:   theory, bias, Judaism, Christianity, Mary Douglas, René Girard

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