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Until recently Leviticus has been read, especially in Christian circles, as part of a 'priestly' work with a predominantly prescriptive and ritualistic agenda. In this volume of papers read at a colloquium held in honour of Mary Douglas at Lancaster University in 1995, experts in the Hebrew Bible, Jewish law, comparative law, classical literature and social anthropology raise challenging questions about the composition, context and purpose of the book. Can it be read as an autonomous literary unit? How significant are its unique ethical insights? Is it law or narrative? Does it reflect actual Second Temple Period practice? How is it related to the Mishnah?