Wednesday, September 26, 2012


"In the ancient Near East in general, the sacrifice as an offering to otherworldly beings is always part of a complex ritual as a communicative action that also includes greeting, kissing, and clothing the deity, exorcistic rites, and liturgical and performative procedures. It is usually performed in a sacralized space that serves cultic practice dedicated either to the gods or to the ancestors. Rituals such as these must be distinguished from other forms of ritual killing, which pertain to eliminatory rituals designed to dispel evil and generally occur outside the temple."—Beate Pongratz-Leisten in Sacred Killing , page 291

<idle musing>
So, she makes a distinction between "sacrifice" and scapegoat or appeasement offerings. How valid is that distinction, I wonder...
</idle musing>

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