Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jonathan Klawans

One of the (many) pleasures of being at Duke is that there is a regular New Testament and Early Judaism colloquium, sometimes with guest speakers (this semester John Barclay, before I arrived) and sometimes with the home team (this semester Joel Marcus, a couple of weeks ago, a fascinating paper on idolatry in the NT). Tonight was the third and last of the semester. After the delivered pizza, it was a paper by Jonathan Klawans on the temple incident. Although I didn't find myself sympathetic to the thesis of the paper, it was a brilliant and most enjoyable presentation, not least because of its scope -- a rethinking of the way sacrifice works in ancient and early Judaism and with a lot of useful reflections on contemporary scholarship on sacrifice. I am ashamed to say that I was not familiar with Klawans's work until tonight, but he is clearly well worth spending time with. Here's his faculty page at Boston University:

Jonathan Klawans

I am afraid that it is nothing like as strong as his colleague Paula Fredriksen's web page, with its multiple full-text reproductions of articles, but it provides a useful sketch.

Klawans has a new book out which I looked at tonight and which I will be looking to buy next week in Philadelphia. This is the OUP link:

Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple
Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism

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