Not Sparing the Child: Human Sacrifice in the Ancient World and Beyond

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-02-12
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T & T Clark

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The role of human sacrifice in the ancient Mediterranean world and its implications continue to be topics that fire the popular imagination and engender scholarly discussion and controversy. This volume provides balanced and judicious treatments of the various facets of these topics from a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspective. It provides nuanced examinations of ancient ritual, exploring the various meanings that human sacrifice held for antiquity, and examines its varied repercussions up into the modern world.

The book explores evidence to shed new light on the origins of the rite, to whom these sacrifices were offered, and by whom they were performed. It presents fresh insights into the social and religious meanings of this practice in its varied biblical landscape and ancient contexts, and demonstrates how human sacrifice has captured the imagination of later writers who have employed it in diverse cultural and theological discourses to convey their own views and ideologies. It provides valuable perspectives for understanding key cultural, theological and ideological dimensions, such as the sacrifice of Christ, scapegoating,self-sacrifice and martyrdom in post-biblical and modern times.

Author Biography

Daphna Arbel is Associate Professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies at the at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Paul C. Burns is Associate Professor Emeritus of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Robert J. Cousland is Associate Professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Richard Menkis is Associate Professor of Medieval and Modern Jewish History at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Dietmar Neufeld
is Associate Professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Table of Contents

Part I. Human Sacrifice - Ritualistic and TheologicalPerspectives/1. Ugaritic Ritual and Human Sacrifice - DavidClemens/2. Jesus with Blood on HisHands: Jesus in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas - Paul Burns/3. God's Abandonment of Jesus: Child-Exposure,Greek Mythology, and the Foolishness of the Gospel - J.R.C. Cousland/4. Early Christianity and Human Sacrifice - MichelDesjardins/5. Human Sacrifice in thecontext of Early Christianity - Tom Hatina/6. The Aqedah and the Dead Sea Scrolls - Post-Biblical Understandings ofGen 22 - Timothy Lim/7. 'Atmidnight Yahweh struck down all the firstborn in Egypt': An EgyptologicalInquiry into God's Infanticide in Exodus 12 - Thomas Schneider/8. 'Soul for Soul, Life for Life, Bloodfor Blood' Was There a Legacy of Carthaginian Child Sacrifice in Roman NorthAfrica, 146 BC-395AD? - Roger Wilson/Part II. Human Sacrifice-Cultural/Social Perspectives/9. HumanSacrifice in the Hebrew Bible - Peggy Day/10. Other Children in the Neighborhood: A Perspective from Greek Sicily -Franco De Angelis/11. Early Dynastichuman sacrifices in Egypt? - Thomas Hikade and Dr. Jane Roy/12. When 'gods' become 'saints': Explorations ofSacrifice in the Syrian Desert - Hanna Kassis/13. Human Sacrifice within the Hebrew Bible -James Lindenberger/14. Human Sacrificein Euripides' Plays - Christopher Marshall/15. Mocking Children, Baldness, and Bears:Elisha's Deadly Honor (2 Kings 2:23-24) - Dietmar Neufeld/16. HumanSacrifice: Canaanite context - Mark Smith/Part III. Human Sacrifice-Symbolic/Gender Perspectives/17. OnAbsent Mothers and Scarified Children (Gen 22 Judges 11) - Biblical Legacies, Ideologies,and Violence - Vita Daphna Arbel/18. Milton's Moloch: Child Sacrifice as the Dark Side of the Incarnation- Lee Johnson/19. Pilgrimage, Politicsand Pulpit: Maurice Eisendrath's Rosh Hashanah Sermon on the Binding of Isaac(1935) - Richard Menkis

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