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Published: 01 March 2018

294 Pages


ISBN: 9780198810902

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Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide

Christian Interpretations of Herem Passages

Christian Hofreiter

Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs

  • Presents and analyses interpretations of biblical texts referring to herem (the ban, devotion to destruction) from antiquity to the present day.
  • Summarizes the reception of the principal herem texts within the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, Hellenistic Judaism, the New Testament, and in the Christian era before the Jewish Scriptures came under sustained criticism by Marcion
  • Presents dissenting readings and criticisms of herem and similar texts by Marcion, Ptolemy, Celsus and others
  • Traces the development of figurative readings from Origen to their predominance in the Glossa Ordinaria and their uses in a medieval sermon
  • Analyses the application of divine-command-theory ethics to herem texts from Augustine via Thomas Aquinas to John Calvin
  • Examines ways in which herem texts have been read since the dawn of the Enlightenment