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Introduction to Part Two

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Chapter Summary

Humanity has ever envisioned itself in a deplorable and appalling condition from which only a hero or a god understood as a human-like being possessing functions greater than those of the ordinary human being, a "super-man" may rescue it. Sacrificial and liturgical views on salvation enjoy a preeminent place in Jewish and Christian cultures. In this context, the festivals of Pesach and Pascha play a central role among the liturgical practices which characterized the end of the Second Temple and early Christian centuries. One of the most ancient features of the Pesach/Pascha feast, the sacrifice of the lamb brings salvation into the houses of the Jewish people in Egypt. The main changes in the Christian Pascha, therefore, are the identification of Christ with the paschal lamb, present in Paul, and the idea that Christ, as Yahweh Sabaoth (the Lord of Hosts), descended on earth and sacrificed himself for the salvation of humankind.

Keywords: Christian cultures; Christian Pascha; Jewish cultures; liturgical practices



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