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In this study of the ritual of animal sacrifice in ancient Greek religion, Judaism, and Christianity in the period between 100 BC and AD 200, Maria-Zoe Petropoulou explores the attitudes of early Christians towards the realities of sacrifice in the Greek East and in the Jerusalem Temple (up to AD 70). Contrary to other studies in this area, she demonstrates that the process by which Christianity finally separated its own cultic code from the strong tradition of animal sacrifice was a slow and difficult one. Petropoulou places special emphasis on the fact that Christians gave completely new meanings to the term `sacrifice'. She also explores the question why, if animal sacrifice was of prime importance in the eastern Mediterranean at this time, Christians should ultimately have rejected it.
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Maria-Zoe Petropoulou is a teacher on the International Baccalaureate Program of the Hellenic American Foundation, Athens.
Review from previous edition: "Maria-Zoe Petropoulou's book encourages scholars to take seriously the experience of religious sacrifice as encountered by actual worshippers."
--Cally Hammond, Times Literary Supplement 02/06/2009
"Petropoulou's book is an important contribution to the study of late Hellenistic and early Roman religion, most notably for its demonstration of the continued importance of animal sacrifice in the early imperial period, and its elucidation of early Christian responses to this phenomenon,
particularly in the second century."
--Paul Dilley, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 02/06/2009
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