By Naphtali S. Meshel
The proposal that rituals, like ordinary languages, are ruled through implicit, rigorous ideas led students within the final century, paying homage to the early Indian grammarian Patanjali, to talk of a "grammar", or "syntax", of formality, fairly sacrificial ritual. regardless of insightful examples of formality complexes that persist with hierarchical principles comparable to syntactic constructions in traditional languages, and bold makes an attempt to visualize a common Grammar of sacrificial ritual, no unmarried, entire "grammar" of any ritual process has but been composed.
This booklet deals the 1st such "grammar." Centering on *S-the idealized sacrificial process represented within the Priestly legislation within the Pentateuch--it demonstrates ritual process is describable when it comes to a collection of concise, unconsciously internalized, generative principles, analogous to the grammar of a common language. regardless of far-reaching diachronic advancements, mirrored in moment Temple and rabbinic literature, the traditional Israelite sacrificial method retained a hugely unchangeable "grammar," that's abstracted and analysed in a formulaic manner.
The limits of the analogy to linguistics are under pressure: instead of different types borrowed from linguistics, corresponding to syntax and morphology, the operative different types of *S are abstracted inductively from the ritual texts: zoemics--the examine of the sessions of animals utilized in ritual sacrifice; jugation-the ideas governing the becoming a member of of animal and non-animal fabrics; hierarchics-the tiered structuring of sacrificial sequences; and praxemics--the research of the actual job comprising sacrificial approaches. eventually, the matter of meaning in non-linguistic ritual structures is addressed.
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Extra resources for The "Grammar" of Sacrifice: A Generativist Study of the Israelite Sacrificial System in the Priestly Writings with The "Grammar" of *S
For example, Leviticus 3 implies that there is a distinction between ﬂock animals and bovines in terms of the number of priests involved in their oﬀering: a single priest oﬀers the suet of a ﬂock animal oﬀered as a wellbeing oﬀering, and several priests manipulate its blood (3:8, 11, 13, 16); but several priests are involved in the oﬀering of both the suet and the blood of a bovine oﬀered as a wellbeing oﬀering (3:3). In contrast, 7:33 implies that a single priest oﬀers both the suet and the blood of all zoemes.
82 See Meshel 2010. On the identiﬁcation of various strata within P, see in general Rendtorﬀ 1993; Nihan 2007; and Koch 1959. Elliger 1966 is particularly attentive to the text-history of smaller units within P. 83 See, for example, Nihan 2007: 148–50 on Lev 10; Achenbach 2003:604–6 on Numbers 28–9. See already Noth 1987:121–34 concerning much of Numbers; and Noth 1968:114, 219 for the claim that Numbers 15 is one of the very latest sections included in the Pentateuch, and that Num 28–9 is even later.
30 Material from the “Priestly” texts is also found outside these books, and the narrative sections of P are often essential for understanding the legal and cultic prescriptions; the latter are nevertheless all concentrated in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. 1. 31 See Margueron 1991:236; Detienne and Vernant 1989. 35 While a complete reconstruction of the history of the concept of “ritual grammar” will not be oﬀered here, let us examine the most important stages in the development of this concept in order to observe what scholarship has achieved thus far and why it has arrived at what appears to be an impasse.