Item description for In the Wilderness: The Doctrine of Defilement in the Book of Numbers (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 158) by Mary Douglas...
Following on from the paperback edition of Leviticus as Literature, this is the revised paperback edition of Mary Douglas's classical account of the Book of Numbers. Up to now Bible scholars have tended to dismiss Numbers as a chaotic mix of narrative and laws. Mary Douglas argues that, like Leviticus, Numbers is actually a highly complex book arranged in a regular ring structure which plots the narratives and laws into 12 parts. She argues that it is only through an understanding of the ring formation of these parts that one can fully appreciate the meanings behind this complex work.
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Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.12" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.56" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Jul 19, 2001
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 019924541X ISBN13 9780199245413
Availability 0 units.
More About Mary Douglas
Mary Douglas is also the author of Leviticus as Literature (1999).
Mary Douglas currently resides in London. Mary Douglas was born in 1921.
Reviews - What do customers think about In the Wilderness: The Doctrine of Defilement in the Book of Numbers (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 158)?
Stunning Insight and Smooth, Lucid Prose Jun 11, 2004
Mary Douglas is very simply brilliant. That she's chosen to shine her unique light on the Book of Numbers is great good fortune for anyone who dives into this book. I wish I'd discovered her earlier on in my biblical research, but no matter. Perhaps I had to be ready for the insights she reveals into the reasoning that might lie beyond the rules pertaining to corpse impurity and the associations that might connect the ashes of the red heifer (used in ritual cleansing) to another obscure rite involving a woman accused of adultery. She mines the Bible for incalculable riches where others might shake their heads in confusion. Metaphor is alive to her. She feels the heartbeat behind the words. Her conclusions are undeniably brilliant, and she is compulsively readable and enjoyable at the same time. That this book is currently "not available" is dreadfully unfortunate. I was able to get a hardcover fairly easily however, and I urge others to track down the text even if it takes time. Meanwhile I'm on to more of Mary Douglas, of course.