Sacrifice, Scripture, and Substitution

Sacrifice, Scripture, and Substitution

  • Readings in Ancient Judaism and Christianity

  • Edited by Ann W. Astell, Sandor Goodhart

  • 490 pages, 6.00 x 9.00

  • Paperback | 9780268020385 | June 2011

  • Hardcover | 9780268204532 | January 2022

  • Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity


This collection of essays focuses on sacrifice in the context of Jewish and Christian scripture and is inspired by the thought and writings of René Girard. The contributors engage in a dialogue with Girard in their search for answers to key questions about the relation between religion and violence.

The book is divided into two parts. The first opens with a conversation in which René Girard and Sandor Goodhart explore the relation between imitation and violence throughout human history, especially in religious culture. It is followed by essays on the subject of sacrifice contributed by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field, including Bruce Chilton, Robert Daly, Louis Feldman, Michael Fishbane, Erich Gruen, and Alan Segal. The second part contains essays on specific scriptural texts (Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22 and the book of Job in the Jewish tradition, the Gospel and Epistles in the Christian tradition). The authors explore new ways of applying Girardian analysis to episodes of sacrifice and scapegoating, demonstrating that fertile ground remains to further our understanding of violence in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

Contributors: Sandor Goodhart, Ann W. Astell, René Girard, Thomas Ryba, Michael Fishbane, Bruce Chilton, Robert Daly, S.J., Alan F. Segal, Louis H. Feldman, Erich S. Gruen, Stuart D. Robertson, Matthew Pattillo, Stephen Stern, Chris Allen Carter, William Morrow, William Martin Aiken, Gérard Rossé, Christopher S. Morrissey, Poong-In Lee, Anthony Bartlett