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Archaeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel (ASOR by Beth Alpert Nakhai PDF

By Beth Alpert Nakhai

Archaeological facts, whilst considered objectively, offer self reliant witness to the spiritual practices of the traditional population of Syria-Palestine and aid to spot the crucial half that faith performed within the social and political worlds of the Israelites and Canaanites. via utilizing present anthropological and sociological concept to old fabrics excavated during the last 80 years, the writer deals a brand new manner of taking a look at the archaeological facts. 'Archaeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel' summarizes and analyzes the archaeological continues to be from all recognized heart Bronze via Iron Age temples, sanctuaries, and open-air shrines to bare the ways that social, financial and political relationships determined—and have been formed by—forms of spiritual association.

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Extra info for Archaeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel (ASOR Books 7)

Sample text

These concepts will be explored in the following review of approaches to sacrifice as a form of social behavior. Frazer’s multi-volume The Golden Bough, first published in 1919, is a comparative collection of folktales and mythologies. In his evolutionary scheme, primitive peoples depended upon magic until they realized that it was not a successful means of manipulating their environments. , gods). Science, like magic, was based upon the belief that the world could be successfully understood and manipulated (Anderson 1987: 6–7).

Although it begs the question of when and for whom the sacrificial rules applied, Davies’ statement that sacrifice was “an institutional way in which the social and religious life of the nation was both conceived and ordered” underscores the quintessential importance of that rite for ancient Israel (Davies 1985: 161). The essays by Douglas and Davies present a systemic way of looking at sacrifice, one formulated upon the presumption that levitical rules for sacrifice reflected a comprehensive world-view.

The material body of the sacrificial victim may well be a serious economic cost to the giver of the sacrifice, but, at the metaphysical level, economics is not the issue. What matters is the act of sacrifice as such, which is indeed a symbol of gift giving, but gift giving as an expression of reciprocal relationship rather than material exchange (1985: 139). Evidence from the Nuer supports this statement. “The emphasis is not on the receiving but on the giving, on the sincerity of intention” (Evans-Pritchard 1956: 278–79).

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