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Leviticus as Literature - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Leviticus as Literature

Mary Douglas


This is a study of Leviticus from an anthropological perspective, which presents the biblical work as a literary masterpiece. Seen from this perspective Leviticus has a literary structure that plots it into three parts corresponding to the three parts of the desert tabernacle, which in turn correspond to the parts of Mount Sinai. This completely new reading transforms the interpretation of the purity laws. The pig and other forbidden animals are not abhorrent; they command the same respect that is due to all God’s creatures. Boldly challenging several traditions of Bible criticism, Mary Dougla ... More

Keywords: anthropology, Bible, desert tabernacle, forbidden animals, God's compassion, God's justice, Leviticus, literature, Mount Sinai, purity laws

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780199244195
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0199244197.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mary Douglas, author
University College London