From Akhenaten to Moses: Ancient Egypt and Religious Change
The shift from polytheism to monotheism changed the world radically. Akhenaten and Moses-a figure of history and a figure of tradition-symbolize this shift in its incipient, revolutionary stages and represent two civilizations that were brought into the closest connection as early as the Book of Exodus, where Egypt stands for the old world to be rejected and abandoned in order to enter the new one.
The seven chapters of this seminal study shed light on the great transformation from different angles. Between Egypt in the first chapter and monotheism in the last, five chapters deal in various ways with the transition from one to the other, analyzing the Exodus myth, understanding the shift in terms of evolution and revolution, confronting Akhenaten and Moses in a new way, discussing Karl Jaspers' theory of the Axial Age, and dealing with the eighteenth-century view of the Egyptian mysteries as a cultural model.
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ÄHG Akhenaten Amarna Amenophis ancient Egypt ancient Egyptian ancient Egyptian religion aspect Assyrian Axial Age Biblical canonization Carl Schmitt century bce chapter Christian concept covenant creator cult cult images cultural memory cultural texts death deities Deut Deuteronomy divine earth Egyptian mysteries Egyptian religion Ernstfall evolution Exodus explicit theology Freud friend and foe gion God’s gods Greater Mysteries Greek Haggadah Hebrew hieroglyphs human Hyksos hymns idea initiation Isis Israel Israelites Jan Assmann Jaspers’s Jewish Judaism king Kingdom LORD Magic Manetho means Mendelssohn Merikare monolatry monotheistic Moses Moses and Monotheism Moses’s myth narrative natural oral origin Osarseph pagan Passover Pharaoh plagues political polytheism pre axial priests Promised Land radical Ramesside realm religious revelation ritual sacred Schmitt script secret Seder society sphere story temple ten plagues term theory thou tion Torah total religion tradition transcendence transformation trauma truth turn Tutankhamun University violence writing Yahweh