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Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus
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  • Page extent: 278 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.58 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 222/.1306
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: BS1255.52 .W38 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Bible.--O.T.--Leviticus--Criticism, interpretation, etc
    • Bible.--O.T.--Leviticus--Language, style
    • Cohanim
    • Ritual
    • Purity, Ritual--Judaism

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521871938)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$103.00 (C)

Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus uses rhetorical analysis to expose the motives behind the writing of the central book of the Torah/Pentateuch and its persuasive function in ancient Judaism. Rhetorical analysis of Leviticus has implications not only for the form and contents of that book, but also for understanding the later history of the rhetoric of priesthood, of sacrifice, and especially of scripture.


1. Introduction: ritual text and ritual interpretation; 2. The rhetoric of ritual instruction; 3. The rhetoric of burnt offerings; 4. The rhetoric of sin, guilt and ritual offerings; 5. The rhetoric of ritual narrative; 6. The rhetoric of atonement; 7. The rhetoric of priesthood; 8. The rhetoric of sacrifice; 9. The rhetoric of scripture; Bibliography; Index of biblical citations; Index of other ancient literature; Index of authors; Index of subjects.


"This is an important study that subsequent research on Leviticus and the development of the biblical canon should take seriously...Watts skillfully carries out his fresh reading of Leviticus with penetrating attention to persuasive effects of literary features."
Roy E. Gane, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"...Watts' book is a compelling, creative, and thought-provoking study worthy of serious attention by anyone interested in the styles of rhetoric that shaped ancient Judaism and the socio-political universe they both presupposed and established."
Mark Leuchter, University of Sydney, Hebraic Political Studies

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