Critical and creative studies that offer fresh perspectives on ancient ideas and practices
The contributions to this volume deal in various ways with the cult at the Jerusalem Temple that epitomized the religious, cultural, and socio-political identity of Judaism for many centuries. Some essays examine ancient constitutive practices and concepts, such as purification rituals, sacrifices, atonement, or sacred authorities at the temple, with the goal of interpreting their meanings for modern readers. Other essays explore alternatives to ancient cultic meaning and practice. Essays critique established traditions, attempt to renegotiate them, or use metaphor and spiritualization to expand the potential of these phenomena to serve as terminological and ideological resources. Thus they examine and affirm the continuing relevance of ancient Jewish cultic notions long after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
Christian A. Eberhart is Professor and Program Director of Religious Studies at the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies of the University of Houston. He has authored various books, including Studien zur Bedeutung der Opfer im Alten Testament: Die Signifikanz von Blut- und Verbrennungsriten im kultischen Rahmen (Neukirchener) and The Sacrifice of Jesus: Understanding Atonement Biblically (Fortress). He is also editor of the volume Ritual and Metaphor: Sacrifice in the Bible (Society of Biblical Literature). Eberhart is the founder of the “Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement” Annual Conference Program Unit of the Society of Biblical Literature.