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The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice$
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Daniel C. Ullucci

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199791705

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791705.001.0001

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The Problem of Animal Sacrifice

The Problem of Animal Sacrifice

(p.3) 1 The Problem of Animal Sacrifice
The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice

Daniel Ullucci

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the Christian responses to animal sacrifice do not stem from earlier so-called critiques of sacrifice in Greek, Roman and Jewish sources. The common model for understanding the Christian rejection of animal sacrifice, which I call the critique model, assumes that various pre-Christian thinkers attacked and critiqued sacrifice, and that Christian authors build upon and expand this tradition of critique. I argue that this is an incorrect reading of the data. The vast majority of these pre-Christian thinkers do not reject the practice of sacrifice; rather they attempt to impose their own interpretations on this key ritual. The Christian rejection of animal sacrifice, therefore, cannot be seen as the culmination of some early pattern of critique. This interpretation is an artefact of Christian theology.

Keywords:   sacrifice, animal, critique, Christian, Centrist, crucifixion

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