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Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

Maria-Zoe Petropoulou

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199218547
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191711503 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218547.001.0001

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

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Next to older scholarly approaches to sacrifice, a new way of understanding the mechanism of animal sacrifice is presented in this book, based on the intersection of two axes: the one vertical (linking humans to the deity), the other horizontal (that of reality). The horizontal axis consists of many sections, each one representing a particular realm of the offerer's reality. The book emphasizes the vigorous continuity of both Greek and Jewish animal sacrificial worship in the period studied. After presenting the sacrificial multiplicity characterizing Greek religion, the book stresses the sometimes obligatory character which the act of offering a sacrifice had in Greek communities, and so the importance of the objection to sacrifice. As regards to Judaism, the vigour of animal sacrifice in the Jerusalem Temple is stressed. Animal sacrifice was important even to the Diaspora, as an original study of Philo's sacrificial allegorisations proves. The Mishnah is used as a source for attitudes towards sacrifice before and after AD 70. The section dedicated to Christianity emphasizes the different backgrounds of early Christians (e.g., Jewish, Gentile). Evidence for anti-sacrificial attitudes is mainly attested in the 2nd-century Apologetics. However, the book finds anti-sacrificial hints in the earliest layers of Christianity. The book emphasizes on the use of sacrificial metaphors by Christians. Returning to the initial interpretive scheme, the book explains how metaphors transpose meanings from one section of the horizontal axis to the other, and thus help to dissociate sacrificial terms from animal sacrifice. Finally, attempting at answering the question of why Christians abolished animal sacrifice, the book traces the existence of an anti-sacrificial stream of thought emanating from the contact with Jesus.

Keywords: allegorisation; animal sacrifice; axis; Christianity; Christian; Diaspora; Greek; Jerusalem; metaphor; Judaism

Book.  348 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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Table of Contents

Approaching the Issue of Sacrifice in Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

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Greek Animal Sacrifice in the Period 100 <span class="smallCaps">bc</span>–<span class="smallCaps">ad</span> 200 in Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

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From Greek Religion to Judaism: A Bridge in Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

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Jewish Animal Sacrifice in the Period 100 <span class="smallCaps">bc</span>–<span class="smallCaps">ad</span> 200 in Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

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A Bridge Linking Greek Religion and Judaism to Christianity in Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

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Christians and Animal Sacrifice in the Period up to <span class="smallCaps">ad</span> 200 in Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

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Conclusions in Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

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