Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jennifer Wright Knust and Zsuzsanna Varhelyi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738960.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 23 July 2021

Jewish Sacrifice

Jewish Sacrifice

Its Nature and Function (According to Philo)

(p.94) 4 Jewish Sacrifice
Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice

William K. Gilders

Oxford University Press

Offering a close reading of the writings of Philo of Alexandria, William Gilders pursues a “literary ethnography” that analyzes the gap between Philo’s presentation of the symbolic significance of sacrificial action and the effective practice of sacrifice in his period. Philo is unique among his Jewish contemporaries in his concern to address the meanings of sacrifice in conceptual terms, and the concepts he develops are quite specific to his distinctive context. Written by a highly-literate Greek-speaking Jew from Alexandria, Philo’s arguments can only be decoded in light of his specific cultural lexicon. A similar concern with symbolic meanings, however, is mirrored in the work of cultural anthropologists and scholars of religion today, who also seek universal meanings for what may well have been provisional acts. As such, both Philo and contemporary scholars mistake symbolism for practice, thereby overlooking the cultural and historical contingency of all interpretation.

Keywords:   Philo of Alexandria, theories of sacrifice, cultural anthropology, symbolism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .