Perceptions of Sacred Hamburgers : Alternation Processes Regarding Food Restrictions in the Apostolic Decree and the Clashes of Symbolic Universes

University essay from Lunds universitet/Centrum för teologi och religionsvetenskap

Abstract: The Apostle meeting in Jerusalem is an important event that leads to the Apostle Decree, condensing all rules into four main ones, in order to include the Gentiles. Regarding food restrictions in the Decree, what could have started a Gentile alternation of their old symbolic universe, in order to internalize a new plausibility structure? The focus seems to have been to describe in what way the Gentiles reacted on different sets of rules, thus disregarding the Jewish faction of Jesus-believers that created them. I will assume another way around perspective, that it made a bigger impact on the Jewish context creating rules in order to include the Gentiles, than for the Gentiles actually following them. The Decree is in itself an implication of an alternation from first century Judaism, which was exclusive, to a more inclusive approach. If Gentile inclusion were seen, due to the will of God, as a natural extension of the Jesus-believing Jews, then they would have no choice regarding an alternation of their symbolic universe. It is then not a matter of if, but how such an inclusion would come to be, thus the Jews were forced to manage the threat of outsiders entering the group.

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