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The Holiness Legislation and Cultic Centralization in the Persian period. Negotiating Social Space in the Forming of the Pentateuch

English title The Holiness Legislation and Cultic Centralization in the Persian period. Negotiating Social Space in the Forming of the Pentateuch
Applicant Nihan Christophe
Number 153029
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut romand des sciences bibliques(IRSB) Faculté de Théologie Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Religious studies, Theology
Start/End 01.10.2014 - 30.09.2017
Approved amount 172'400.00
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Keywords (5)

Persian period; Pentateuch; Leviticus; Centralization; Spatiality

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La recherche récente a mis en évidence le rôle central de la loi dite « de sainteté » (Lévitique 17-26) pour la composition du Pentateuque à l’époque perse (6e-4e siècles), mais s’est moins intéressée à la signification de cette collection d’un point de vue d’histoire sociale. La présente recherche vise à combler cette lacune, en analysant la place de la loi de la sainteté dans le développement de la centralisation cultuelle en Judée et en Samarie à l’époque perse.
Lay summary
Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

La recherche se fondera sur une analyse philologique et historique de différents passages clés de la loi de sainteté, tels que les lois sur les sacrifices ou sur les fêtes et les pèlerinages. A la différence d’autres études, elle prendra en compte l’ensemble des témoins textuels (texte massorétique, texte grec, Qumrân), ainsi que différentes traditions liées à la loi de sainteté dans le Pentateuque et les écrits para-bibliques (Rouleau du Temple, Reworked Pentateuch).

Cette analyse sera en outre prolongée par une approche d’histoire sociale, visant à resituer le développement de discours de centralisation dans le contexte économique, culturel, politique et religieux de l’époque perse ; et une approche plus théorique faisant appel à des modèles empruntés aux spatial studies ainsi qu’aux centrality studies, afin d’éclairer les rapports entre « centre » et « périphérie » dans le judaïsme d’époque perse.

 

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

En combinant différentes approches, cette recherche permettra de mieux comprendre la place et la signification de la centralisation cultuelle pour la composition finale du Pentateuque à l’époque perse. Elle permettra également de mettre en question les modèles classiques envisageant un développement linéaire d'une pluralité de sanctuaires à un sanctuaire unique, pour développer à la place un nouveau modèle qui fasse droit à la complexité du discours de la loi de sainteté sur la centralisation dans son contexte antique.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.07.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
‘The Temple which You Will Build For Me in the Land’: The Future Sanctuary in a Textual Tradition of Leviticus
Rhyder Julia (2017), ‘The Temple which You Will Build For Me in the Land’: The Future Sanctuary in a Textual Tradition of Leviticus, in Dead Sea Discoveries , 24(2), 271-300.
Cult Centralization and the Torah Traditions in Chronicles
Nihan Christophe (2016), Cult Centralization and the Torah Traditions in Chronicles, in Markl Dominik (ed.), 253-288.
Holiness Language in 2 Kgs 23? A Note on a Recent Proposal
Rhyder Julia (2015), Holiness Language in 2 Kgs 23? A Note on a Recent Proposal, in Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 127(3), 497-501.
Aaron’s Vestments in Exodus 28 and Priestly Leadership
Rhyder Julia, Nihan Christophe, Aaron’s Vestments in Exodus 28 and Priestly Leadership, in Pyschny Katharina, Schulz Sarah (ed.), de Gruyter, New York.
Ritual Text and Ritual Practice: Some Remarks on Extra-Sanctuary Slaughter in Leviticus
Rhyder Julia, Ritual Text and Ritual Practice: Some Remarks on Extra-Sanctuary Slaughter in Leviticus, in Michel Patrick (ed.).
Space and Memory in the Book of Leviticus
Rhyder Julia, Space and Memory in the Book of Leviticus, in Klutz Todd, Strine Casey (ed.), T&T Clark, London.
Text and Ritual in the Pentateuch: A Systematic and Comparative Approach
Nihan Christophe, Rhyder Julia (ed.), Text and Ritual in the Pentateuch: A Systematic and Comparative Approach.
The Reception of Ritual Laws in the Early Second Temple Period: The Evidence of Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles
Rhyder Julia, The Reception of Ritual Laws in the Early Second Temple Period: The Evidence of Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles, in Nihan Christophe, Rhyder Julia (ed.).

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, University of Tel Aviv, prof. Oded Lipschits Israel (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Symposium in Honor of George Brooke Talk given at a conference The Prohibition of Local Butchery in Leviticus 17:3–4: The Evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls 28.04.2017 Univeristy of Lausanne, Switzerland Rhyder Julia;
Annual Meeting of the European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS) Talk given at a conference Aaron’s Vestments in Exodus 28 and Priestly Leadership 20.07.2016 University of Leuven, Belgium Nihan Christophe; Rhyder Julia;
Text and Ritual in the Pentateuch: A Systematic and Comparative Approach Talk given at a conference The Reception of Ritual Laws in the Early Second Temple Period: The Evidence of Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicle 27.05.2016 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Rhyder Julia;
Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature Talk given at a conference Gates and Entrances in Ezekiel 40–48: The Mapping of Social Space 22.11.2015 Atlanta, United States of America Rhyder Julia;
Graduate student meeting of the European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS) Talk given at a conference ‘The Temple which You Will Build for me in the Land’: The Future Sanctuary in a Textual Tradition of Leviticus 28.03.2015 University of Leuven, Belgium Rhyder Julia;
The Fall of Jerusalem and the Rise of the Torah Talk given at a conference Cult Centralization and the Torah Traditions in Chronicles 27.03.2015 Institut biblique pontifical, Italy Nihan Christophe;


Abstract

Recent scholarship on the Holiness legislation (H) has made a case for regarding this legislation as a composition from the Persian period, which supplements both Priestly and non-Priestly pentateuchal traditions. In addition, recent studies of centrality in the Pentateuch have challenged some of the classical assumptions for construing the relationship between central and local sanctuaries in the Persian period, such as especially (a) the notion of a linear development from local sanctuaries to cultic centralization, and (b) the equation of cultic centralization with a single sanctuary. Based on these developments, the present research will explore H’s relation to cultic centralization against the background of the Persian period. In particular, the research will address the following issues: (1) H’s view of centrality in relation with other pentateuchal traditions pertaining to cultic centralization; (2) the construction of social space in H and its significance for cultic centralization in that legislation; (3) the relation between ritual standardization and cultic centralization in H; and (4) the relation between cultic centralization in H and in H materials outside of Lev 17-26. As such, this research offers significant perspectives for the study of the formation of the Pentateuch in the Persian period, as well as more broadly the social history of that period.
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