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Title: Covenant and liminal action in the letter to the Hebrews
Author: Dunnill, John David Stewart
Awarding Body: The University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1988
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This study of Hebrews uses methods derived from anthropological structuralism to interpret the sacrificial symbolism and other difficult features of the letter. Beginning from a structural account of religion as a system of signs for ordering experience, and the light this casts on aspects of O. T. ritual, it offers explanations of the use Hebrews makes of O. T. symbols, and also of its presentation of the saving action of Christ and the life of Christians in the new covenant'. The book's argument and pastoral purpose are treated as secondary to its quasiliturgical character as a covenant- renewal rite, a timeless event of encounter with God, with a logic governed by symbolic associations and the 'necessities' of sacrifice. Though Hebrews projects a religious system based on unrestricted communion with God, and is deeply opposed to the separative, expiatory sacrifice and priesthood typified by P. it views expiatory thinking as a human necessity rooted in the problem of death. Through Jesus' death, presented as a . 'mythological' pattern deeply interwoven with O. T. covenantal theology, the fundamental ambiguity in human experience of God is resolved. Structuralism is shown to be a holistic approach well fitted to contribute to the solution of some outstanding exegetical and conceptual problems of this complex and highly integrated work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available