We would like to draw attention to this new publication on the topic of purity and religious traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Despite the large scope of this work, many contributions deal with purity in the Greek world. Great attention deserves also the contribution of J.F. Quack on purity in Egyptian religion, which will suscitate the interest of scholars in Hellenistic and particularly Ptolemaic religion.
Purity and the Forming of Religious Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean World and Ancient Judaism
Edited by Christian Frevel (Universität Bonn) and Christophe Nihan (Université de Lausanne)
Purity is a cultural construct that had a central role in the forming and the development of religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean. This volume analyzes concepts, practices and images associated with purity in the main cultures of Antiquity, and discusses from a comparative perspective their parallel developments and transformations. The perspective adopted is both synchronic and diachronic; the comparative approach takes into account points of contact and mutual influences, but also includes major transcultural trends. A number of renowned specialists contribute a large variety of perspectives and approaches, combining archaeology, epigraphy and social history; in addition, particular attention is given to concepts of purity in ancient Israel and early Judaism as a ‘test-case’ of sorts. Through its extensive coverage, the volume contributes decisively to the present discussion about the forming of religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean world.