Is there one principal avenue of exploration that could lead to the very heart of the religious experience? For David L. Weddle, professor emeritus of Religion at Colorado College, that way in is the practice of ritual sacrifice. In his new book, Sacrifice in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
(New York University Press
, 2017) Weddle conducts a comparative study of the practice and the social significance of sacrifice in the three "religions of Abraham."
Weddle's book draws extensively on theology, history, and cultural theory to view the ways in which sacrifice has shaped, and continues to shape, the cultures of these religious traditions, and he proposes ways in which the traditions can work to overcome the violent sacrificial impulses still evident in extremist theology and practice.
David Gottlieb is a PhD Candidate in the History of Judaism at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His research focuses on interpretations of the Binding of Isaac and the formation of Jewish cultural memory. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.