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Divine Evil?The Moral Character of the God of Abraham$
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Michael Bergmann, Michael J. Murray, and Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.001.0001

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Animal Sacrifices

Animal Sacrifices

Chapter:
(p.121) 4 Animal Sacrifices*
Source:
Divine Evil?
Author(s):

John Hare

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.003.0012

In the Hebrew Scriptures God is represented as requiring a sacrificial system involving the deaths of many thousands of animals every year as a way to produce atonement for sin. This system is taken up in the Christian Scriptures as one of the most important ways to understand the death of Christ. But could a morally good God set up a system by which individuals are released from divine punishment for what they have done wrong because an animal or some other human being is killed? This does not seem to fit with our ideas either of individual accountability for wrongdoing or of the value of animal life. The chapter discusses these issues.

Keywords:   Hebrew, Christian, Scriptures, animal sacrifice, sacrificial system, atonement, sin

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