Execution and Invention: Death Penalty Discourse in Early Rabbinic and Christian Cultures

By Oxford University Press / Beth A. Berkowitz, on 1 January 2006

In this book Beth Berkowitz tells the story of modern scholarship on the ancient rabbinic death penalty and continues the story by offering a fresh perspective using the approaches of ritual studies, cultural criticism, and talmudic source criticism. Against the scholarly consensus, Berkowitz argues that the rabbinic laws of the death penalty were used by the early Rabbis in their efforts to establish themselves in the wake of the destruction of the Temple. The purpose of the laws, she contends, was to create a complex ritual of execution that was controlled by the Rabbis, thus bolstering their claims to authority in the context of Roman imperial domination.

  • Document type Book
  • Themes list Religion ,