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Description - Covenant and Sacrifice in the Letter to the Hebrews by John Dunnill

Among the problems which Hebrews poses for interpretation, its use of sacrificial terminology must cause it to seem remote and obscure. Although the recent work of social anthropologists on the nature of religious systems has been applied by Old Testament scholars to the laws and symbols of the Pentateuch this is the first sustained study of Hebrews to take account of these theories. Building on the work of such writers as Mary Douglas, Victor Turner, and Claude Levi-Strauss, Hebrews is approached here as a 'structure of symbols', in which the symbol-system of the Old Testament covenant is re-presented and transposed. Motifs explored by the author include sacred time and space; liminality; the sacrificial function of blood, death, oaths, and blessings; and the narrative traditions of election and exclusion. Dr Dunnill assesses Hebrews, not as an argument, but as an act of symbolic communication expressing the possibility of direct communion with God.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521020626
ISBN-10: 052102062X
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 138mm x 19mm)
Pages: 312
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 13-Jul-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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