Helhet och helighet. Kroppen som norm och ideal i Leviticus 21:16-24

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion

Författare: Jenny Elfwering; [2019-06-28]

Nyckelord: wholeness; holiness; body; blemish; Leviticus;

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this essay is to examine the relationship between wholeness and holiness from the viewpoint of Lev 21:16-24. In order to do so, I will investigate what the list of blemishes (mûm) denote and the reason behind the exclusion of priests with a mûm from certain holy areas and activities, while allowing them in others. In this essay I adopt the theory of the cultural model of disability from disability studies and thus examines mûm as a conceptual category connected to the expectations, values and ideals of the community, as expressed through the specific lens of the text.By the use of grammatical criticism, the meaning of some words and expressions central to the pericope is discussed in an attempt to approach the world of ideas that the text adheres to. The question of the early reception of the text is also raised by comparing it to some texts from Qumran that all deploy the Leviticus passage in their own context to see how it was interpreted and the meaning it was given during the period of the second temple. As part of this analysis it also refers to the Greek text in LXX as a point of comparison.The study shows that though there are some difficulties in interpreting the list of mûm, they are all visible on the surface of the body and signify a weakening of the body’s borders. Thereby also affecting the boundaries between holy and profane. The ideal body to the text is a whole body with a smooth surface capable of upholding said boundaries. To the pericope wholeness is a necessary quality when approaching the holy, but not for being in the presence of holiness.

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