Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and by Maria-Zoe Petropoulou

By Maria-Zoe Petropoulou

During this examine of the ritual of animal sacrifice in historic Greek faith, Judaism, and Christianity within the interval among a hundred BC and advert two hundred, Maria-Zoe Petropoulou explores the attitudes of early Christians in the direction of the realities of sacrifice within the Greek East and within the Jerusalem Temple (up to advert 70). opposite to different stories during this region, she demonstrates that the method wherein Christianity eventually separated its personal cultic code from the powerful culture of animal sacrifice was once a gradual and tough one. Petropoulou areas distinct emphasis at the indisputable fact that Christians gave thoroughly new meanings to the time period `sacrifice'. She additionally explores the query why, if animal sacrifice was once of top value within the japanese Mediterranean at the present, Christians may still finally have rejected it.

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Extra info for Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (Oxford Classical Monographs)

Example text

The diVerence does not consist in bringing new evidence to light, but in bringing into relief new elements in the evidence already known—or else in stressing things which are usually taken for granted. Preparing the reader to realize the cultic revolution Wnally brought about by the religious system of Christianity, where animal sacriWce did not constitute the focus of worship, I insist on the centrality of the unit ‘animal’ in Greek paganism. The animal remained the primary sign in the codes deWning the reality (horizontal line) of Greek sacriWce: the ritual code, the dietary code, and, of course, the linguistic code.

A very original approach to sacriWce from the point of view of the Roman imperial cult is that by S. R. F. Price in Rituals and Power: The Roman Imperial cult in Asia Minor (1984). Apart from an analysis of the dynamics of the imperial cult, Price has also stressed the importance of two issues: that of the exact recipient in the sacriWces of the imperial cult and that of the divine (or not) status of the emperor. In this regard, Price’s book touches the area of anthropology, and it is the combination of history and anthropology that certainly constitutes its originality.

78 Lane Fox (1986), 69, mainly 70–2. Approaching the Issue of SacriWce 25 fact that bloodless cult was not a new way of worship, starting in the Hellenistic period. He has correctly advocated the view in favour of which this book argues, namely that whenever animal sacriWce was not oVered, this was due more to Wnancial reasons than to moral hesitation. Unfortunately, his point is not accompanied by references proving it: ‘The bloodless alternative to sacriWce owed something to ease and economy, but nothing to growing scruples about shedding animals’ blood.

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