Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in by William G. Dever

By William G. Dever

Following up on his contemporary, commonly acclaimed reviews of the heritage and social lifetime of historic Israel, William Dever right here makes use of archaeological and biblical facts to reconstruct the people faith of historical Israel. Did God Have a spouse? shines new mild at the presence and effect of women's cults in early Israel and their implications for our realizing of the reliable "religion of the book." Dever will pay specific consciousness to presences of the goddess Asherah, reviled through the authors of the Hebrew Bible as a overseas deity yet thought of by way of many smooth students to were popularly anticipated because the consort of biblical Yahweh. the 1st e-book via an archaeologist on historic Israelite faith, this interesting research significantly reports nearly all the archaeological literature of the previous iteration, and it brings clean facts to the desk in addition. whereas Dever digs deep into the previous — revealing insights are chanced on, for instance, within the type of neighborhood and family members shrines the place sacrifices and different rituals have been played — his dialogue is largely illustrated and communicated in non-technical language obtainable to everybody. Dever calls his e-book "a feminist manifesto — via a man," and his paintings supplies a brand new prominence to girls because the custodians of Israel's folks faith. even though the monotheistic religion and perform mentioned within the Bible most probably held sway between trained, elite males in Jerusalem, the guts and soul of Israelite faith used to be polytheistic, concerned about assembly functional wishes, and founded within the houses of universal, illiterate humans. much more popularly written than Dever's past books, Did God Have a spouse? is bound to spur huge, even passionate, debate in all quarters.

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Extra resources for Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel

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The average house could be as large as 16 by 16 meters, or to translate into feet, 850 square feet of living and storage space for one story, 1,700 for both. That may sound a bit small for a big family. But ethnographic estimates figure about ten sq. meters of total living space per person, so the 850 square feet of the upper living quarters could accommodate seven to nine people, more than the average family size of five or six. And the other one or two houses in the family compound would add another dozen or so to the "house of the father," yielding a total of 15 to 20 persons, as estimated above.

It has become perhaps the single most significant influence in contemporary biblical studies, and even in archaeology. A recent convenient introduction to the sociological school will be found in a collection of essays edited by Charles Carter and Carol Meyers, entitled Community, Identity, and Ideology: Social Science Approaches to the Hebrew Bible (1996). For their part, Syro-Palestinian and biblical archaeologists have not yet produced an explicit theoretical statement advocating a social science approach.

It would have been long forgotten except for its one memorable contribution to civilization: the Hebrew Bible, and the memory of Israel's faith and vision of human destiny that it enshrines. (2) The social and political world. Turning now from the larger, "external" world of Nature, what was Israel's peculiar social and political adaptation to this world like? We have already noted the fractured landscape, broken up into many different environmental niches, or microcosms. This natural diversity resulted in a relatively wide diversity of lifestyles and cultural values for such a small country, making it extraordinarily difficult to achieve any kind of social or political unity.

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