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Leviticus as Literature

ISBN-10: 0199244197
ISBN-13: 9780199244195
Edition: 2000
Authors: Mary Douglas
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Description: This first full-scale account of Leviticus by a world renowned anthropologist presents the biblical work as a literary masterpiece. Seen in an anthropological perspective Leviticus has a mystical structure which plots the book into three parts  More...

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Book details

List price: $50.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/17/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

This first full-scale account of Leviticus by a world renowned anthropologist presents the biblical work as a literary masterpiece. Seen in an anthropological perspective Leviticus has a mystical structure which plots the book into three parts corresponding to the three parts of the desert tabernacle, both corresponding to the parts of Mount Sinai. This completely new reading transforms the interpretation of the purity laws. The pig and other forbidden animals are not abhorrent, they command the same respect due to all God's creatures. Boldly challenging several traditions of Bible criticism, Mary Douglas claims that Leviticus is not the narrow doctrine of a crabbed professional priesthood but a powerful intellectual statement about a modern religion which emphasizes God's justice and compassion.

Born in Italy, Mary Douglas was educated at Oxford University and began her career as a civil servant in 1943. Her first field research was carried out in what was then the Belgian Congo and she taught at Oxford and the University of London before moving to the United States in 1977. Purity and Danger (1966) is an essay about the logic of pollution beliefs, suggesting that ideas about dirt and disorder outline and reinforce particular social orders. Her other essays exploring the implicit meanings of cultural symbols follow a similar Durkheimian format. Her recent interests have turned to analysis of risk behavior and cross-cultural attitudes about food and alcohol.

The Ancient Religion
Two Styles of Thought
Two Styles of Writing
Mountain, Tabernacle, Body in Leviticus 1-7
The Totally Reformed Religion
Oracles Support Divine Justice
Land Animals, Pure and Impure
Other Living Beings
Atonement for Sick Bodies
The Two Screens
Inside the House/Book of God
Inside the Holy of Holies

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