Purity and the Forming of Religious Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean World and Ancient Judaism


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Purity is a cultural construct that had a central role in the forming and the development of religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean. This volume analyzes concepts, practices and images associated with purity in the main cultures of Antiquity, and discusses from a comparative perspective their parallel developments and transformations. The perspective adopted is both synchronic and diachronic; the comparative approach takes into account points of contact and mutual influences, but also includes major transcultural trends. A number of renowned specialists contribute a large variety of perspectives and approaches, combining archaeology, epigraphy and social history; in addition, particular attention is given to concepts of purity in ancient Israel and early Judaism as a ‘test-case’ of sorts. Through its extensive coverage, the volume contributes decisively to the present discussion about the forming of religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean world.
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Christian Frevel, Dr. theol. (1994, Universität Bonn), is Professor for Old Testament Studies at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Since 2007, his research has focused on the formation Early Judaism(s), Biblical Anthropology and Pentateuchal Studies.

Christophe Nihan, Dr. (2005, University of Lausanne), is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and History of Ancient Israel at the University of Lausanne. His research focuses on the ritual laws of the Pentateuch, as well as on processes of textualization in Persian period Israel.

Contributors include: Philippe Borgeaud, Beate Ego, Christian Frevel, Linda-Marie Günther, Michaël Guichard, Gudrun Holtz, Manfred Hutter, Albert de Jong, Michael Konkel, Bernhard Linke, Lionel Marti, Hans-Peter Mathys, Christophe Nihan, Joachim Friedrich Quack, Benedikt Rausche, Noel Robertson, Udo Rüterswörden, Ian Werrett, Jürgen K. Zangenberg
"Purity and the Forming of Religious Traditions is must reading for anyone who works on ritual purity and the tabernacle/temple apparatus in ancient Judaism."
Matthew Thiessen Saint Louis University, The Enoch Seminar Online (2014)

"The volume remains an excellent synthesis of the evidence for purity’s formation, development, and exchange in the ancient Mediterranean and any scholar considering the study of purity in ancient religions would be wise to consult it."
Jason R. Price, University of California, Religion 44:1
Scholars interested in the history of religions, religious contacts and social-cultural interactions in Antiquity, purity and impurity in the ancient Mediterranean world, as well as mechanisms of social control and regulation in ancient societies.
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