The Religion of Ancient Israel

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Westminster John Knox Press, 2000 - Religion - 335 pages
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The historical and literary questions about ancient Israel that traditionally have preoccupied biblical scholars have often overlooked the social realities of life experienced by the vast majority of the population of ancient Israel. Volumes in the Library of Ancient Israel draw on multiple disciplines -- such as archaeology, anthropology, sociology, and literary criticism -- to illumine the everyday realities and social subtleties these ancient cultures experienced. This series employs sophisticated methods resulting in original contributions that depict the reality of the people behind the Hebrew Bible and interprets these scholarly insights for a wide variety of readers. Individually and collectively, these books will expand our vision of the culture and society of ancient Israel, thereby generating new appreciation for its impact up to the present.Patrick Miller investigates the role religion played in an expanding circle of influences in ancient Israel: the family, village, tribe, and nation-state. He situates Israel's religion in context where a variety of social forces affected beliefs, and where popular cults openly competed with the "official" religion. Miller makes extensive use of both epigraphic and artefactual evidence as he deftly probes the complexities of Iron Age culture and society and their enduring significance for people today.
 

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Contents

God and the Gods Deity and the Divine World in Ancient Israel
1
THE DIVINE WORLD
23
THE FEMININE DIMENSION AND THE QUESTION OF THE GODDESS
29
YAHWEH IN ANCIENT ISRAEL
40
TANAACH CULT STAND
43
Types of Religion in Ancient Israel
46
THE QUESTION OF ORTHODOXY
47
THE FORM AND CHARACTER OF THE CULT
62
SANCTIFICATION AND DESANCTIFICATION
148
PURITY
149
VARIATIONS IN THE IDEOLOGY OF HOLINESS
155
Leadership and Participation in Israelite Religion
162
THE PROPHET
174
THE KING
189
THE SAGESCRIBE
197
CULTIC PARTICIPATION IN ANCIENT ISRAEL
199

INTERACTION OF FAMILY RELIGION AND OFFICIAL NATIONAL RELIGION
102
Sacrifice and Offering in Ancient Israel
106
TYPES OF SACRIFICE
107
THE PURPOSES OF SACRIFICE AND OFFERING
121
Holiness and Purity
131
HOLINESS AND POWER
132
THE PERVASIVENESS OF THE HOLY
135
GRADATIONS OF HOLINESS
144
GRADED HOLINESS
147
Epilogue
208
Abbreviations
210
Notes
212
Bibliography
289
Sources of the Illustrations
313
Index of Biblical Passages and Ancient Sources
315
Index of Subjects
331
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About the author (2000)

Patrick D. Miller is the Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, and author of Deuteronomy.

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