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Sacrifice in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

David L. Weddle


Sacrifice is the cost of religion, paid in many ways, including donations, ascetic self-denial, prayer, fasting, mystical ecstasy, imitative suffering, ritual offerings, and martyrdom. Common religious discourse uses “sacrifice” to describe a wide array of events and actions that exhibit common features, such as reference to transcendence, conditionality of the offering, and an element of self-giving. For Judaism, Christianity, and Islam a guiding example of sacrifice is the Hebrew patriarch Abraham, who was willing to offer his son to God as a burnt offering. Each tradition appropriates the s ... More

Keywords: sacrifice, suffering, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Abraham, mystical ecstasy, ascetic self-denial, martyrdom

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780814764916
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814764916.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David L. Weddle, author
Colorado College