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Purity Ideology in Ezra-Nehemiah as a Tool to Reconstitute the Community

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Responding to recent treatments of purity and impurity in Ezra-Nehemiah by J. Klawans and C. Hayes, the author argues that Ezra-Nehemiah's purity ideology is innovative and distinct, drawing upon a variety of precedents from both the "moral" and "ritual" impurity traditions. The purity ideology of Ezra-Nehemiah functions as one of several significant tools used to reconfigure the Judean community through the redefinition of who is a Judean and the expulsion of those classed as aliens. The author explores the rhetoric of purity and pollution in Ezra-Nehemiah from the perspective of the work in its final form and that of the text's hypothetical sources.


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