Sacrifice and Purity

Jonathan Klawans

in Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780195162639
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785254 | DOI:
                      Sacrifice and Purity

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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

Chapter.  16164 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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