Chapter

<i>Interlude:</i> The Israelite Red Heifer and the Edge of Power in China

Adam B. Seligman and Robert P. Weller

in Rethinking Pluralism

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199915262
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980215 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199915262.003.0004
Interlude: The Israelite Red Heifer and the Edge of Power in China

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This interlude looks at how certain Rabbinic texts and Chinese practices highlight the power of social and geographical margins. It analyzes the close links between the margins and the center, and the fungible boundaries between them. Rabbinic texts on the treatment of the Red Heifer show the ambiguities inherent to this key purification ritual of ancient Judaism. The analysis of China examines images of ethnicity, food, and nature to illustrate the power that lay in the indeterminacies of border zones.

Keywords: Judaism; China; purity; margins; ethnicity; food; nature

Chapter.  5546 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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