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Sacrifice and Symbol : Biblical Shelamim in a Ritual Perspective

Modéus, Martin LU (2005) In Coniectanea Biblica, Old Testament Series 52.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Många tolkningar och användningsområden har av olika forskare föreslagits för det gammaltestamentliga offret shelamin. Detta offer hade också en oklar plats i den israelitiska kulturen. Avsaknaden av konsensus och misslyckandet med att nå fram till en tillfredsställande lösning på gåtan gör shelamim till ett intressant offer att undersöka med hjälp av modern ritualforskning.



I denna undersökning föreslås att en undersökning av en rit bör starta i den situation som skapar behovet av ceremonin och inte i en analys av ritens form eller innehåll. Riter förstås här som mänskliga reaktioner på causae, alltså händelser i natur och kultur. Att avgöra en rits causa är det första steget... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Många tolkningar och användningsområden har av olika forskare föreslagits för det gammaltestamentliga offret shelamin. Detta offer hade också en oklar plats i den israelitiska kulturen. Avsaknaden av konsensus och misslyckandet med att nå fram till en tillfredsställande lösning på gåtan gör shelamim till ett intressant offer att undersöka med hjälp av modern ritualforskning.



I denna undersökning föreslås att en undersökning av en rit bör starta i den situation som skapar behovet av ceremonin och inte i en analys av ritens form eller innehåll. Riter förstås här som mänskliga reaktioner på causae, alltså händelser i natur och kultur. Att avgöra en rits causa är det första steget i en rituell analys.



Som ett redskap för att förstå riters och symbolers "mening" bör tre interpretationsnivåer särskiljas: ideologinivån, användningsnivån och strukturnivån. En enskild rit kan ha olika betydelse på de olika nivåerna. Vidare föreslås här att symboler och riter kan klassificeras som legitimerande, definierande och markerande, vad gäller funktionen. Denna analys gör det möjligt att avgöra vilken position en viss rit eller symbol har i den kulturella kontexten.



I undersökningen identifieras shelamim som en markerande symbol. Utifrån detta är det möjligt att förstå den mångskiftande användning av offret som återspeglas i de hebreiska texterna. Här blir det tydligt att denna bredd i användningen inte behöver tillskrivas en lång historisk utveckling. Variationen i användning till trots, så uppträder offret alltid i en specifik kontext, nämligen de texter som handlar om höjdpunkterna i den israelitiska kulten. Eftersom denna kontext befinner sig på textnivån, föreslås att termen shelamim har kommit in i texten genom en glossering, med syfte att specificera slaktoffret, zebah, i den legitima kulten.



Troligen uppstod behovet av denna specificering när centralisationen av kulten i praktiken splittrade det gamla slaktoffret i två: en slakt som ägde rum i den lokala miljön och en högtidlig kulthändelse som bara ägde rum på den legitima kultplatsen, Jerusalems tempel. Steg för steg visar avhandlingen att glosseringen var ett försök att korrigera de inkongruenser på textnivån som skapades av centralisationen. (Less)
Abstract
For the sacrifice shelamim in the Hebrew Bible, scholars have suggested a number of different interpretations and uses. This sacrifice also had an ambiguous role in Israelite culture. Lack of a general consensus and the failure to reach a satisfying solution makes the shelamim a puzzle and an interesting sacrifice to investigate with insights gained from modern ritual studies.



In this study, it is suggested that an investigation of ritual issues should start in the situation that creates the need for the performance, not in an analysis of the ritual's form or content. Rituals are here understood as human reactions to various causae, that is, events in nature or culture. Determining a ritual's causa is the first step in a... (More)
For the sacrifice shelamim in the Hebrew Bible, scholars have suggested a number of different interpretations and uses. This sacrifice also had an ambiguous role in Israelite culture. Lack of a general consensus and the failure to reach a satisfying solution makes the shelamim a puzzle and an interesting sacrifice to investigate with insights gained from modern ritual studies.



In this study, it is suggested that an investigation of ritual issues should start in the situation that creates the need for the performance, not in an analysis of the ritual's form or content. Rituals are here understood as human reactions to various causae, that is, events in nature or culture. Determining a ritual's causa is the first step in a ritual analysis. To better grasp the "meaning" of symbols and rituals, three levels of interpretation should be identified: the level of ideology, the level of use and the level of structure. A single ritual may have different interpretations on different levels. Furthermore it is suggested that symbols and rituals can be classified as legitimizing, defining or marking in function. This analysis makes it possible to determine the position of a particular symbol or ritual in the culture.



Once the shelamim was identified as a marking symbol, it was possible to understand the use of it, mirrored in the Hebrew texts. Without having to postulate a long historical development, it is suggested in this thesis that, although there was a differentiated use of the sacrifice, it always appears in a specific context. This context is identified as any texts, which concern the peak moments of the Israelite cult. Since the context is on the textual level, it is suggested that the term shelamim entered the texts through glossation, in order to specify the slaughtered sacrifice, the zebah, of the legitimate cult.



Most probably, the need for this specification began to be felt when the centralization of the cult in effect divided the old slaughtered sacrifice in two: a domestic slaughter of lesser ritual value and a solemn cultic performance in the only legitimate cult site, the temple of Jerusalem. Step by step, it is demonstrated that the glossation was an effort to correct the textual incongruities that were created in the old texts by the centralization. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Prof. Albertz, Rainer, Münster
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
slmm, Blood, Legitimacy of ritual, Centralization of cult, Glossation, Todah, Neder, Nedabah, Milluim, Zebah, Zebah shelamim, Shelamim, Sacrifice, marking and defining symbols, Legitimizing, Interpretation of ritual, focusing and defining, Causa, Ugarit, the Jerusalem temple, Bible, Bibelvetenskap
in
Coniectanea Biblica, Old Testament Series
volume
52
pages
388 pages
publisher
Almqvist & Wiksell International
defense location
Hörsalen, Palaestra, Paradisgatan 4
defense date
2005-06-04 10:15
ISSN
0069-8954
ISBN
91-22-02120-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c7037944-6d85-4091-aa23-a54b7929c79b (old id 25032)
date added to LUP
2007-05-31 16:00:48
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:56
@phdthesis{c7037944-6d85-4091-aa23-a54b7929c79b,
  abstract     = {For the sacrifice shelamim in the Hebrew Bible, scholars have suggested a number of different interpretations and uses. This sacrifice also had an ambiguous role in Israelite culture. Lack of a general consensus and the failure to reach a satisfying solution makes the shelamim a puzzle and an interesting sacrifice to investigate with insights gained from modern ritual studies.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In this study, it is suggested that an investigation of ritual issues should start in the situation that creates the need for the performance, not in an analysis of the ritual's form or content. Rituals are here understood as human reactions to various causae, that is, events in nature or culture. Determining a ritual's causa is the first step in a ritual analysis. To better grasp the "meaning" of symbols and rituals, three levels of interpretation should be identified: the level of ideology, the level of use and the level of structure. A single ritual may have different interpretations on different levels. Furthermore it is suggested that symbols and rituals can be classified as legitimizing, defining or marking in function. This analysis makes it possible to determine the position of a particular symbol or ritual in the culture.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Once the shelamim was identified as a marking symbol, it was possible to understand the use of it, mirrored in the Hebrew texts. Without having to postulate a long historical development, it is suggested in this thesis that, although there was a differentiated use of the sacrifice, it always appears in a specific context. This context is identified as any texts, which concern the peak moments of the Israelite cult. Since the context is on the textual level, it is suggested that the term shelamim entered the texts through glossation, in order to specify the slaughtered sacrifice, the zebah, of the legitimate cult.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Most probably, the need for this specification began to be felt when the centralization of the cult in effect divided the old slaughtered sacrifice in two: a domestic slaughter of lesser ritual value and a solemn cultic performance in the only legitimate cult site, the temple of Jerusalem. Step by step, it is demonstrated that the glossation was an effort to correct the textual incongruities that were created in the old texts by the centralization.},
  author       = {Modéus, Martin},
  isbn         = {91-22-02120-5},
  issn         = {0069-8954},
  keyword      = {slmm,Blood,Legitimacy of ritual,Centralization of cult,Glossation,Todah,Neder,Nedabah,Milluim,Zebah,Zebah shelamim,Shelamim,Sacrifice,marking and defining symbols,Legitimizing,Interpretation of ritual,focusing and defining,Causa,Ugarit,the Jerusalem temple,Bible,Bibelvetenskap},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {388},
  publisher    = {Almqvist & Wiksell International},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Coniectanea Biblica, Old Testament Series},
  title        = {Sacrifice and Symbol : Biblical Shelamim in a Ritual Perspective},
  volume       = {52},
  year         = {2005},
}