The Temple of Jesus: His Sacrificial Program within a Cultural History of Sacrifice


"Ritual sacrifice was one of the greatest concerns and most widely shared activities among Jews prior to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Thus there is a pressing need for systematic understanding of sacrifice, both as an element of Judaic religion and a context for Jesus' activity. The Temple of Jesus provides a theoretical model of sacrifice and develops that model to analyze classic texts from the Hebrew Scriptures and the Jewish War of Josephus, and it argues that Jesus can only be appreciated as driven by a program to enact his own conception of Israel's purity in sacrifice in order to occasion the disclosure of God's kingdom. It is the first study to develop a theory of sacrifice and then apply it to the sources of early Judaism as well as Jesus' activity. Chilton contends that sacrifice is construed as a fundamentally social, "precivilized" activity involving pragmata defined as pure, an emotional affect for participants, and an ideology according to which sacrifice occasions a change of life in the community, thus rejecting current anthropological studies that attempt to explain sacrifice genetically. He shows that texts from Ezekiel, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy share a conviction that the covenant with Israel ensures the validity of sacrifice, even as they define purity in various ways and emphasize differing affects of sacrifice. Finally, Chilton provides a new approach to Jesus, comparing and contrasting his occupation of the Temple with the cultic activities of prominent Pharisees of his period." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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