The Actuality of Sacrifice

Past and Present


Sacrifice is a well known form of ritual in many world religions. Although the actual practice of animal sacrifice was largely abolished in the later history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it is still recalled through biblical stories, the ritual calendar and community events. The essays in this volume discuss the various positions regarding the value of sacrifice in a wide variety of disciplines such as history, archaeology, literature, philosophy, art and gender and post-colonial studies. In this context they examine a wide array of questions pertaining to the 'actuality of sacrifice' in various social, historical and intellectual contexts ranging from the pre-historical to the post-Holocaust, and present new understandings of some of the most sensitive topics of our time.
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Biographical Note

Alberdina Houtman, Ph.D. (1995), Utrecht University (the Netherlands), is lecturer of Semitic Languages and professor extraordinarius of Jewish studies at Protestant Theological University Amsterdam/Groningen, location Amsterdam. She has published extensively on rabbinic literature, especially Targum. Marcel Poorthuis, professor in interreligious dialogue at the University of Tilburg. published on Judaism, Christianity and Islam and their interaction. His dissertation (1992) dealt with the Talmudic commentaries of the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. Joshua Schwartz, Ph.D. (1981), is Professor of Historical Geography of Ancient Israel and directs the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies in the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He has published extensively on the historical geography of ancient Israel and Jerusalem. Yossi Turner is a professor of modern and contemporary Jewish thought at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. His writings include a study on Franz Rosenzweig and various essays on the religious and social thought of Rabbi Nahman Krokchmal, Hermann Cohen, Aaron David Gordon, Mordecai Kaplan and others. He recently published about the relation to Zion and the diaspora in 20th century Jewish thought.

Review Quote

' Students of the liturgical sciences wil profit greatly from this volume of rich contributions. Those interested in ecumenical issues will liekwise find the volume informative and helpful in understanding how liturgical renewal is indeed a concrete path to Christian unity.' James F. Puglisi, Centro Pro Unione, Worship 90, January 2016.

Table of contents

Archaeology and the Hebrew Bible Louise A. Hitchcock, Conspicuous Destruction and the Economy of Sacrifice in the Bronze and Early Iron Age Dorothea Erbele-Kuester, Reading as an Act of Offering: Reconsidering the Genre of Leviticus 1 David Frankel, The Death of Moses as a Sacrifice of Atonement for the Sins of Israel: A Hidden Biblical Tradition New Testament and post-Biblical Judaism Eric Ottenheijm, ‘So the Sons are Free’: The Temple Tax in the Matthean Community Lawrence Schiffman, Sacrifice in the Dead Sea Scrolls Adelbert Denaux, Jesus Christ, High Priest and Sacrifice according to the Epistle to the Hebrews Joshua Schwartz, Sacrifice without the Rabbis: Ritual and Sacrifice in the Second Temple Period according to Contemporary Sources Early Christianity and Rabbinic literature Riemer Roukema, Sacrifice in ‘Gnostic’ Testimonies of the Second and Third Centuries CE Marcel Poorthuis, Sacrifice as Concession in Christian and Jewish Sources: The Didascalia Apostolorum and Rabbinic Literature Alberdina Houtman, Putting One’s Life on the Line: The Meaning of he`erah lamavet nafsho and Similar Expressions in Rabbinic Literature Michael Swartz, Sacrifice and Society in Yerushalmi Yoma Thoughts on Sacrifice in the High Middle Ages Harm Goris, Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacrifice of Christ: Thomas Aquinas against Later Thomist Theology Alexander Even Chen, On Purifying Sacrifice in the Philosophy of Don Isaac Abravanel Sacrifice in Jewish and Christian Liturgy Gerard Rouwhorst, Which Religion Is Most Sacrificial? Reflections on the Transformations of Sacrifice in Early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism David Golinkin, The Restoration of Sacrifices in Modern Jewish Liturgy Sacrifice in Modern Philosophy Yossi Turner Sacrifice and Repentance: The Religious Thought of Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Joseph B. Soloveitchik Renée van Riessen The Subject as Sacrifice: Levinas’s Confusing Critique of the Idealistic Subject Philosophy Simon Simonse Can We Be at Peace without Sacrifice? The Connection between Sacrifice and Crisis in the Work of René Girard Sacrifice in Art and Culture Shula Laderman Interaction between Judaism and Christianity in Artistic Representations of the Sacrifice of Isaac Rachel Berger ‘From the Blood of My Heart’: Christian Iconography in the Response of Israeli Artists to the Holocaust Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz The Iconography of Gendered Sacrifice: Women’s Army Corps Memorials in Israel and Great Britain Judith Frishman On Sacrifices, Victims, and Perpetrators: Israel’s ‘New Historians’, Critical Artists, and Zionist Historiography Frank Bosman Tarkovsky's Sacrifice: Between Nietzsche and Christ


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