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dc.contributor.authorRankin, Oliver Shawen
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-15T14:17:49Z
dc.date.available2019-02-15T14:17:49Z
dc.date.issued1928
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/33632
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractThis study of the origins of the festival of Hanukkah was begun. The subject of Hanukkah has seemed (see Gressmann, Die Aufgaben der Wissenschaft des nachbiblischen Judentums, 1925, p. 20) to demand further investigation than that made by Ewald, Wellhausen, Krauss, Hochfeld, and others, while also the views of these three last-named exponents of Hanukkah have not hitherto met with a thorough criticism, comparison, and analysis.en
dc.description.abstractIt is evident that this festival, which, except in the First and Second Books of Maccabees, receives from the time of its appearance (164 B.c.) till the rise of Rabbinic legend but scant and brief mention in Jewish writings, is of very great religious and historical importance. It is the most notable religious deposit of Judaism of the Hellenistic period in that sphere where religion finds its most general and popular expression, namely, the realm of festival practice and rites. In this realm the historian must recognize that here are spread before him those durable marks and visible features of the civilization of the race which he studies. Provided the clue to their meaning in the days of their origin, and to the reason of their being further shapen or modified in the course of time, can be read, festival rites are the record, supplementary to the literary evidence, of a people's religious thought. A study of the Passover, for example, such as Dr. Buchanan Gray has made (Sacrifice in the Old Testament, p. 352 f.), is an unfolding of Hebrew religious history from the early stage of primitive blood-ritual belief, through the age of the Reformation effected by Josiah, down to the Græco-Roman period, traces of the influence of which upon Judaism this festival bears.en
dc.description.abstractHanukkah can be regarded as the memorial of the Maccabean wars of freedom. In the following chapters the festival appears, in the circumstances of its origin and in the transformation of the rites it inherited from its pagan predecessor, as focus of the religious history and theological thought of Judaism in the period of the Hellenic domination, an experience which in the national life is only sur- passed by the Exile. Hanukkah is represented as a Jewish conversion of Hellenistic rites, as interpretation, in accord with the national genius, of the cult of Kronos-Helios (Bel-samin), and in particular of Dionysian and Apolline ritual attaching to that cult. Further, the soul of the festival, its ideal motif, as of the celebrations it supplanted, is discovered in conceptions of the New Age.en
dc.description.abstractThe date of Hanukkah, 25th Kislev to 2nd Tebeth, has been regarded not only by scholars who believe that the festival renders innocuous a heathen Winter-solstice celebration, but also by those who doubt or contest this hypothesis, as beginning on, or covering the 25th of December. Against this assumption Professor Martin P. Nilsson has recently entered a very decided caveat. The question to which day in the solar calendar the 25th of Kislev corresponds is therefore fundamental, and I have endeavoured to answer it by evidence of Jewish and Syrian calendral data.en
dc.description.abstractIn view of the apparent similarity of features of Hanukkah and of the festival of Booths, a resemblance which has been responsible for robbing Hanukkah of its individuality and originality, for obscuring its nature and importance, for reducing it to the rank of a second Booths, it has been necessary to direct special attention to the peculiar ritual of Hanukkah, and to lay emphasis upon the priority of rite over later festival-exposition, festival-legend, and myth. In discussion of the significance which was given to the ritual of setting the Hanukkah-lamp at the door of the dwelling-house, outside, the generally rejected theory of Grätz that the light was symbol of the Law has seemed to admit of being placed upon a more substantial foundation than that of metaphor. The development of Grätz's theory, here undertaken, may appear also to have achieved the purpose of casting into relief the religious beliefs and spirit of the time in which the festival assumed Jewish guise. The completer significance of the lamp has, however, been sought in the ideas of sovereignty (of Jahveh and the ruling house) which had their setting in the principal conception of Hanukkah as Aion-festival, or festival of the New Age.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2019 Block 22en
dc.relation.isreferencedbyen
dc.titleThe origins of the festival of Hanukkah: the Jewish new-age festival (the so-called Feast of the Dedication)en
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnameDLitt Doctor of Literatureen


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