Chapter

The Problem of Animal Sacrifice

Daniel Ullucci

in The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199791705
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932436 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791705.003.0001
The Problem of Animal Sacrifice

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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

Chapter.  5396 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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