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Ritual and Morality: The Ritual Purity System and its Place in Judaism

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The book explains clearly the ritual purity system of the Hebrew Bible. Maccoby focuses on the various human conditions (corpse impurity, menstruation, childbirth, sexual intercourse, and certain diseases), which are not sinful, but which disqualify Israelites from entering the Temple unless they have been purified. Various recent theories of the origin and meaning of the rules of ritual purity are discussed, and common misconceptions are corrected. New solutions are proposed for various problems. This is the first book on the subject that is accessible to the specialist and nonspecialist reader alike.

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Editorial Reviews

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"This volume should be purchased by specialized libraries of Judaica and of early Christianity, in addition to general research libraries." Religious Studies Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521093651
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/11/2009
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 550,541
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. The sources of impurity: the human corpse; 2. The corpse in the tent: an excursus; 3. The sources of impurity: menstruation; 4. The sources of impurity: childbirth, the Zab and Zabah; 5. Normal emissions; 6. Animals and purity; 7. Impurity and sacrifices; 8. The Red Cow: part one; 9. The Red Cow: part two; 10. Leprosy; 11. The purification of the leper; 12. Corpse and leper: an excursus; 13. Ritual purity in the New Testament; 14. Milgrom on purity in the Bible; 15. From demons to ethics; 16. Ritual purity and morality; Appendices.

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