Download E-books Human Sacrifice in Jewish and Christian Tradition (Numen Book) (Numen Books: Studies in the History of Religions) PDF

This quantity asks to which quantity historical practices and traditions of human sacrifice are mirrored in medieval and sleek Judeo-Christian instances. the 1st a part of the quantity, on antiquity, makes a speciality of rituals of human sacrifice and polemics opposed to it, in addition to on variations of human sacrifice within the Israelite-Jewish and Christian cultures, whereas the traditional close to East and historical Greece aren't excluded. the second one a part of the quantity, on medieval and sleek occasions, discusses human sacrifice in Jewish and Christian traditions in addition to the debates approximately euthanasia and dying penalty within the Western global.

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The excellence among self-sacrifice and martyrdom additionally wishes clarification. this text makes a speciality of Jewish literature from the 2d century b. c. e. until eventually the top of the first century c. e. , except the final biblical books in addition to the first rabbinic works. Biblical or rabbinic texts are considered basically with the purpose of placing concerns in ancient viewpoint. even if a few targumic traditions may work again to the first century c. e. , targumic literature should not studied. hence, the corpus I care for contains Jewish Hellenistic literature, the Qumran library and different pseudepigraphic or apocryphal texts often dated from the second one Temple interval or presently after (as when it comes to the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum—referred to as L. A. B. —or of four Maccabees). enable me emphasize that in the Hellenistic and Roman interval, human sacrifices weren't a huge subject in Jewish literature. There are rather few texts bearing on sacrifices of this type; and one in every of my operating hypotheses is this rarity will be defined through the GraecoRoman context of the Jewish writers below examine. Greeks and Romans tended to provide human sacrifices as a barbarian practice,9 and to think about that they have been played by means of Greeks or Romans simply in circumstances of utmost emergency and depression. furthermore, in the course of the Hellenistic interval and the start of the Roman interval, human sacrifices aren't attested as universal between Greeks and Romans, if we other than the polemical case of Dionysian mysteries (to which I shall go back below). for that reason, polemics among Jews and Greeks or Romans didn't concentrate on human sacrifices. nonetheless, a Graeco-Roman influence will be perceived within the transforming into insistence on self-sacrifice (patriotic or no longer) that characterizes Jewish works dated from the top of the second one Temple interval, whether this insistence can also be defined by way of ancient occasions comparable to the defeat by means of Rome and the persecutions below Hadrian. nine in spite of the fact that, in different situations (such because the well-known tale of Agamemnon and Iphigenia), it's a Greek god or goddess who calls for the sacrifice. therefore, it might be a mistake to contemplate human sacrifices in Greek literature as a only barbarian perform; see the comments of Georgoudi, ibid. , 68–69. 154 KATELL BERTHELOT I. The Condemnation of Human Sacrifices, offered as a Pagan Abomination 1. Human sacrifices as Canaanite practices In Deut, the idolatrous rites of the Cananeans are usually characterised as “abominations” (úåáòåú). 10 Deut 18:9–13 states that the Israelites are forbidden to mimic “the abominable practices of these nations,” and specifies: “There shall now not be stumbled on between you anyone who makes his son or his daughter go through the fire (åúáå åðá øéáòî êá àöîé àì Làá), anybody who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer” (vv. 10–11). final, Deut 12:31 informs the reader that God destroyed the Canaanite populations simply because “every abominable factor which the Lord hates they've got performed for his or her gods; for they even burn their sons and their daughters within the fire to their gods.

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