Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (Oxford Classical Monographs)

Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (Oxford Classical Monographs)

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0199639353

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this study of the ritual of animal sacrifice in ancient Greek religion, Judaism, and Christianity in the period between 100 BC and AD 200, Maria-Zoe Petropoulou explores the attitudes of early Christians towards the realities of sacrifice in the Greek East and in the Jerusalem Temple (up to AD 70). Contrary to other studies in this area, she demonstrates that the process by which Christianity finally separated its own cultic code from the strong tradition of animal sacrifice was a slow and difficult one. Petropoulou places special emphasis on the fact that Christians gave completely new meanings to the term `sacrifice'. She also explores the question why, if animal sacrifice was of prime importance in the eastern Mediterranean at this time, Christians should ultimately have rejected it.

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reapperance in an evolutionist guise, where the concept of feeding the deity is underplayed by scholars as a ‘primitive’ element in Jewish cult, or as a Canaanite inXuence.47 At the same time, other modern scholars do not deny that the concept of God being oVered a meal is intrinsic in Jewish sacriWce.48 Along the same lines, but with its emphasis on the unifying role of the meal, there ran Robertson Smith’s theory on Jewish (and, by extension, Semitic) sacriWce: as we have seen above, according

from meat in general, or from certain animal species, or from certain parts of the animal’s body, or from certain varieties of plants. Philosophical or other spiritual trends must have played their role in such instances of abstinence, and inXuenced individual worshippers and cult founders. But the overall picture drawn from our literary texts and inscriptions cannot support any claim that, due to theoretical objections, the practice of animal sacriWce was forsaken by worshippers en masse. From

2.1, pp. 85–183. More recently, Belayche (2001). 124 From Greek Religion to Judaism Roman, or other foreign inXuences aVected mainstream Judaism, conXicts arose. This is obvious in every political event in the history of Judaea. Popular reaction there—in the form of revolts—was centred around the Temple, both geographically and ideologically. The chronological period we are concerned with starts while the Second Temple in Jerusalem still stands. The history of the Jewish Temple is a long one,

cutting-up. Philo deeply reXects on the body parts of animals in many sacriWcial contexts, either those where the oVerer is an archetypal biblical 97 On this kind of oVering see below, sec. 6. Jewish Animal SacriWce 169 character,98 or those of general Levitical regulations. Here I focus on the latter. As regards the symbolism of a burnt oVering in De spec. legibus 1, 206–7, the belly stands mainly for desire, but the feet are given a higher meaning: their being washed indicates the

it is the worshipper’s Wnancial capacity which deWnes the choice of species? In any case, why does Philo not allegorize elements like Xour, oil, and incense—since he refers to them—as he does elsewhere (De somniis 2, 71–4)? As for the one of the two birds: is it the sin itself (¼ false speech) which needs reformation or the oVerer who committed the sin of false speech? 178 Jewish Animal SacriWce in the area of human experience, and to give advice on their avoidance. Indeed, one cannot help

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