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 Testament)Vom Verlag:
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evolutionist accounts of ancient Jewish sacrifice as a primitive and spiritually empty behavior that was rejected and superseded by the Eucharist in Christianity or by prayer in rabbinic Judaism.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.
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