Abraham, Isaac, and the Rhetoric of Sacrifice
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: University Press of America
Number of Pages: 202
Width: 15.4 cm
Height: 23 cm
This volume examines one of the most controversial stories in the Bible—the akedah, or sacrifice of Isaac recounted in the 22nd chapter of Genesis. Today, more than three thousand years later, the story continues to evoke controversy. It has had an impact on Judaism, Christianity and Islam—each clinging to different interpretations. Even among adherents of a common faith, interpretations of the passage differ to such extremes that it can be used to justify unthinkable behavior ranging from infanticide, mass murder, and suicide bombings. Abraham's actions have generated a sacrificial rhetoric that continues to exert a powerful influence on modern society. The rhetoric of sacrifice was born when the first person used the story of akedah to inspire another to sacrifice willingly on their behalf. Since then, a multitude of religious leaders and religious imposters have used the rhetoric of sacrifice to do their bidding. The akedah has proven itself as a tool that placed in the wrong hands can be used to commit unthinkable acts.