Did God Have a Wife
Following up on his two recent, widely acclaimed studies of ancient Israelite history and society, William Dever here reconstructs the practice of religion in ancient Israel from the bottom up. Archaeological excavations reveal numerous local and family shrines where sacrifices...
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Following up on his two recent, widely acclaimed studies of ancient Israelite history and society, William Dever here reconstructs the practice of religion in ancient Israel from the bottom up. Archaeological excavations reveal numerous local and family shrines where sacrifices and other rituals were carried out. Intrigued by this "folk religion" in all its variety and vitality, Dever writes about ordinary people in ancient Israel and their everyday religious lives.Did God Have a Wife? shines new light on the presence and influence of women's cults in early Israel and their implications for our understanding of Israel's official "Book religion." Dever pays particular attention to the goddess Asherah, reviled by the authors of the Hebrew Bible as a foreign deity but, in the view of many modern scholars, popularly envisioned in early Israel as the consort of biblical Yahweh. His work also gives new prominence to women as the custodians of Israel's folk religion.The first book by an archaeologist on ancient Israelite religion, this fascinating study critically reviews virtually all of the archaeological literature of the past generation, while also bringing fresh evidence to the table. Though Dever digs deep into the past, his discussion is extensively illustrated, unencumbered by footnotes, and vivid with colorful insights. Meant for professional and general audiences alike, Did God Have a Wife? is sure to spur wide and passionate debate.
This richly illustrated, non-technical reconstruction of "folk religion" in ancient Israel is based largely on recent archaeological evidence, but also incorporates biblical texts where possible.
William G. Dever (Ph.D., Harvard University) is professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has served as director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, as director of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, and as a visiting professor at universities around the world. He has spent thirty years conducting archaeological excavations in the Near East, resulting in a large body of award-winning fieldwork.
Prof.Dever is the author of What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel,Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel and Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?
Koorong -Editorial Review.
- Introduction Defining And Contextualizing Religion The Phenomenon Of Religion Religion As "ultimate Concern" The "care And Feeding Of The Gods" On "folk Religion" "folk Religion": Toward A Methodology "phenomenology Of Religion" The "context" Of Folk Religion Religion And The "good Life" The History Of The History: In Search Of Ancient Israel's Religions The "history Of Religions" School The "myth And Ritual" School Old Testament Theology Sociological Approaches A Revival Of Interest In Israelite Religion An Overall Critique Of Previous Scholarship Sources And Methods For The Study Of Ancient Israel's Religions The Biblical Texts And Their Limitations Some Caveats Non-biblical Texts Archaeology As A "primary Source" For History And Religion Depreciating Archaeology: Who And Why Setting The (archaeological) Record Straight What Archaeology Can And Cannot Do Why Another History? The Hebrew Bible: Religious Reality Or Theological Ideal? Part I. Cultic Terminology In The Hebrew Bible B Mot, Or "high Places" Family And Household Shrines Temples Cult Paraphernalia In The Hebrew Bible Part Ii. Cultic Activities In The Hebrew Bible The Sacrificial System Some Caveats Regarding Sacrifice Prayers And Vows Festivals Archaeological Evidence For Folk Religions In Ancient Israel Local Shrines And Family Religion An Excursus On "magic" Public Open-air Sanctuaries Monumental Temples The Goddess Asherah And Her Cult The Figurines: Who Is She? Votives, Vows, And Folk Religion Characterizing Asherah And Her Cult Asherah, Women's Cults, And "official Yahwism" Asherah In Canaan Asherah In The Hebrew Bible Asherah, Yahweh, And "syncretism" Iconographic Evidence Of The Goddess Asherah And Women's Cults Archaeological Correlates Of Women's Cults Other Ethnographic Parallels From Polytheism To Monotheism "patriarchal" Religion In Canaan: El And "the God Of The Fathers" "holy Places" In Pre-israelite Times The Israelite Sacrificial System As "canaanite" The Calendar The Question Of "syncretism" Changes With The Monarchy: Religion In Crisis Rebellion: "to Your Tents, O Israel" Civil War: The "state Cult" In The North Judah And The "yahweh Alone" Movement The Fall Of Judah And Religious Crisis The Empty Land Out Of The Ashes Toward One God Why Monotheism? And Whither? Archaeological Evidence For Reforms The Afterglow Magic Bowls And The Goddess Lilith "ashera Abscondita" And Jewish Mysticism What Does The Goddess Do To Help? Afterword (and Foreword Again) Some Basic Sources Index Of Authors Index Of Subjects And Places Index Of Scripture References