Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus Paperback

From Sacrifice to Scripture

by James W. Watts;

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Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus

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Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus, first published in 2007, uses rhetorical analysis to expose the motives behind the writing of the central book of the Torah/Pentateuch and its persuasive function in ancient Judaism. The answer to the question, 'who was trying to persuade whom of what by writing these texts?' proves to be quite consistent throughout Leviticus 1-16: Aaronide high priests and their supporters used this book to legitimize their monopoly over the ritual offerings of Jews and Samaritans.

With this priestly rhetoric at its center, the Torah supported the rise to power of two priestly dynasties in Second Temple Judaism. Their ascendancy in turn elevated the prestige and rhetorical power to the book, making it the first real scripture in Near Eastern and Western religious traditions.

• Ritual texts were meant to be persuasive texts and should be analyzed rhetorically - as Watts does here
• The authority of scripture derived, first of all, from its ritual authority over temple offerings and priests
• 'Sacrifice' has less to do with ancient offerings of animals than with modern moral judgments

Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus by James W. Watts was published by Cambridge University Press in October 2012. The ISBN for Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus is 9781107407954.

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1. Introduction: ritual text and ritual interpretation
2. The rhetoric of ritual instruction
3. The rhetoric of burnt offerings
4. The rhetoric of sin, guilt and ritual offerings
5. The rhetoric of ritual narrative
6. The rhetoric of atonement
7. The rhetoric of priesthood
8. The rhetoric of sacrifice
9. The rhetoric of scripture
Index of biblical citations
Index of other ancient literature
Index of authors
Index of subjects.


Details for Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus

Author / Artist
Book FormatPaperback
PublisherCambridge University Press (October 2012)
Number of Pages278
Thickness16 mm
Height229 mm
Width152 mm
Product Code4048965
Page last updated 17th July 2018
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