Special Issue "Archaeology and Ancient Israelite Religion"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Israelite religion has received a great deal of attention over the years, and many dozens of books and hundreds of articles have been written about various aspects of the Israelite religion. Initially, research was based on biblical testimony, either illustrating the various traditions or questioning them in a critical manner. Gradually, with the accumulation of more and more information on other ancient near-Eastern religions, and especially with the advent of archaeology, more avenues of research have been opened. Consequently, the framework that was based on the biblical narrative was abandoned by many, resulting in (1) an abandonment of the view that one can speak of an Israelite religion in the singular, and many today prefer to speak about Israelite religions, and (2) a plethora of research questions and scholarly agendas in approaching the data.
Among the questions discussed today are the differences between the "official" and "popular" expression of religion, between the "biblical" religion and the real one, as practiced during the Iron Age, the role of people in various forms of religions, the loci of religious expression (in temples or in other spaces), what objects were used for religious purposes (e.g., figurines) and how and when did monotheism evolve, and which other gods or goddesses were worshiped in ancient Israel? Did Israel's god (YHWH) have a spouse? Similarities and differences between the religious experienced in Israel and Judah and other Iron Age religions, the religion of Israel's neighbors, the influence of the Assyrian empire, aspects of continuity and differences between the Iron Age religion and those that developed during the Second Temple period, and many others.
Since archaeology has a major role in the new development, the present issue intend to present various approaches to the archaeology of Israelite religions, and to the contribution of recent studies to our understanding of this issue. Contributions are welcome by scholars from all disciplines, including archaeologists, biblical scholars, theologians, Assyriologists, historians, and more, and approaches need not be archaeological.
Prof. Dr. Avraham Faust
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Israelite religion
- ancient Near East