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Ezekiel and the Ethics of Exile$
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Andrew Mein

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291397.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

The Politics of Cult

The Politics of Cult

(p.101) 4 The Politics of Cult
Ezekiel and the Ethics of Exile

Andrew Mein

Oxford University Press

Of all the prophets, Ezekiel is most concerned with matters of cult, and his priestly background is often invoked as the source of numerous features of the book. In thinking about Ezekiel's ethical distinctiveness, it might be useful to apply the notion of a dual moral world. Ezekiel's audience in Babylonia are members of the Jerusalem political elite, who in the experience of exile are suffering a substantial loss of status and identity. These two moral worlds are ones in which substantially different kinds of moral decision are open to members of the community, and this is as true of cult as it is of the rest of life. It is highly significant that the language of cult and ritual dominates the prophet's analysis of past sin, present judgement, and future hope. This chapter examines cult and politics in Judah, cultic apostasy and the fall of Jerusalem, the four abominations shown to Ezekiel at the beginning of his visionary journey, and idolatry and cult centralization.

Keywords:   cult, politics, elite, Babylonia, Jerusalem, Judah, cultic apostasy, abominations, idolatry

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