Deity and Diet: The Dilemma of Sacrificial Food at Corinth
in The Library of New Testament Studies
Publisher T&T Clark
This book investigates the conflict that arose in Corinth around the mid-first century CE. over Christian involvement in cultic meals. From a detailed study of the actual nature and dynamics of sacrificial belief, practice and perceived significance, a complex picture emerges. This not only involves the existence of genuine ambiguities and problems of defining boundaries, but also concerns basic conceptual differences over the very nature of divinity and humanity. The resulting wide range of possible individual perceptions of the nature and meaning of images, sacrifices and communal meals produced a minefield of Christian viewpoints that profoundly affected the positions Paul was compelled to adopt in 1 Corinthians 8-10. This complicated dynamic of sacrificial food and the consequent controversy that arose from attempts to define and delimit 'idolatry' makes this issue an ongoing dilemma for many churches today.