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Bibil Identifier bibil:226470
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Where There Is Dirt, Is There System? Revisiting Biblical Purity Constructions
Author Lemos, T.M.
Journal Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (Volume: 37, Issue: 3)
Year (Publication) 2013
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2013
Year (Copyright) 2013
Year (Reference) 2013
Language English
Pages 265-294 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This article contends that biblical scholarship on impurity has often been concerned with attempting to find one symbolic system underlying Israelite purity constructions. This tendency is clear in the work of Mary Douglas and Jacob Milgrom, but even in more recent scholarship the tendency to treat the diverse body of texts discussing impurity as a ‘system’ has continued. Even recent attempts to place all of these texts into two or more categories of impurity have had to force biblical texts to fit categories that supposedly encompass all of the Hebrew Bible. This article presents various important inconsistencies among the purity constructions of different biblical texts in order to demonstrate that these constructions are not in fact ‘systematic’. There is no ‘system of Israelite impurity’. Moreover, in positing such a system, scholars have displayed assumptions and utilized methods that are at odds with those of contemporary ritual studies. This article argues instead for an embodied approach to studying Israelite purity constructions that moves beyond Cartesian dichotomies and seeks to contextualize the evidence from different biblical texts, treating differences between texts not as obstacles but as analytical opportunities.
DOI 10.1177/0309089213475397
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Purity - Impurity
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Historical Traditions : Priestly
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the Old Testament : Pentateuch : Leviticus
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the Old Testament : Latter Prophets : Ezekiel
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the Old Testament : Writings : Ezra
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the Old Testament : Writings : Nehemiah
Last modification 2017-10-27