Leviticus as Literature

Paperback | March 1, 2001

byMary Douglas

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This first full-scale account of Leviticus by a world-renowned anthropologist presents the biblical work as a literary masterpiece. Seen in an anthropological perspective Leviticus has a mystical structure which plots the book into three parts corresponding to the three parts of the deserttabernacle, which in turn corresponds 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 due to all God's creatures. Boldly challenging several traditions ofBible criticism, Mary Douglas claims that Leviticus is not the narrow doctrine of a crabbed professional priesthood but a powerful intellectual statement about a religion which emphasizes God's justice and compassion.

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This first full-scale account of Leviticus by a world-renowned anthropologist presents the biblical work as a literary masterpiece. Seen in an anthropological perspective Leviticus has a mystical structure which plots the book into three parts corresponding to the three parts of the deserttabernacle, which in turn corresponds to the pa...

Mary Douglas is also the author of In the Wilderness, the Doctrine of Defilement in the Book of Numbers (1993).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.63 inPublished:March 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199244197

ISBN - 13:9780199244195

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`Leviticus has fascinated Mary Douglas for many years. And Mary Douglas has fascinated biblical scholars... One of the chief reasons for Mary Douglas's importance within biblical studies is that she is a distinguished social anthropologist... richly suggestive argument...'The Expository Times. April 2000.