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We Think What We Eat: Structuralist Analysis of Israelite Food Rules and Other Mythological and Cultural Domains
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We Think What We Eat: Structuralist Analysis of Israelite Food Rules and Other Mythological and Cultural Domains

by

T&T Clark 2004

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Overview

In We Think What We Eat, Seth Kunin presents both an appreciation and critique of Professor Mary Douglas' classical work on Israelite food rules. He places her arguments into the context of related anthropological approaches and suggests a new interpretation of the food rules system based on a rigorous application of structuralist theory. Kunin then goes on to extend this analysis to other areas of Israelite culture. Through detailed analysis of texts from Genesis, Exodus and Judges, he demonstrates that the same structural pattern found in the first section in respect of ritual is also characteristic of the mythological material.

This section of the book also takes up the issue of structural transformation. It examines the processes found as the myths move from the Israelite context to that of the rabbis, the authors of the New Testament and of the Book of Mormon. The arguments presented demonstrate that as the myths move from culture to culture diachronically and geographically while the same mythological elements are retained they are restructured and organized based on the structural needs of the new cultural context. Kunin is also interested in issues of structuralist theory. Thus, he addresses issues related to the processes of structural transformation - suggesting processes that lead to changes in structural emphasis and those relating to more significant transformations.

Product Details

  • Title: We Think What We Eat: Structuralist Analysis of Israelite Food Rules and Other Mythological and Cultural Domains
  • Author: Seth D. Kunin
  • Series: Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement
  • Publisher: T. & T. Clark Publishers
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Volume: 412
  • Pages: 264

About Seth D. Kunin

Seth D. Kunin is the Director of Research in the College of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Aberdeen. He received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Cambridge.

About The Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement

The Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement (renamed the Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies in 2005) is a premier book series that offers cutting-edge work for a readership of scholars, teachers in the field of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament studies, postgraduate students and advanced undergraduates. All the diverse aspects of Old Testament study are represented and promoted in the series, including innovative work from historical perspectives, studies using social-scientific and literary theory, and developing theological, cultural and contextual approaches.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition