Reconsidering the Concept of Revolutionary Monotheism
Author: Beate Pongratz-Leisten
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In February, 2007, a conference entitled “Reconsidering the Concept of ‘Revolutionary Monotheism’” was convened on the campus of Princeton University. The meeting was unique in that it brought together scholars who were engaged in various disciplines of research, and though all were involved in the geographical area of the ancient Near East, everyone brought a different expertise to the question of how to approach the concept of the divine. What followed, in the course of two days, was an intense debate regarding the issue stated in the title of the conference; the dialogue was productive, and the papers—which were reworked in the wake of the conference and in accord with the interaction among the participants—are useful perspectives on the vexing topic of monotheism and the divine.
The papers in the this volume are presented by John Baines (gods in New Kingdom/Third Intermediate period Egypt), Gonzalo Rubio (Mesopotamian pantheon), Francesca Rochberg (polytheistic cosmogony in Mesopotamia), Beate Pongratz-Leisten (astralization of gods in Mesopotamia), Peter Machinist (dying gods and cosmic restructuring), Mark S. Smith (cross-cultural recognition of divinity in Israel), Konrad Schmid (monotheism in the Priestly texts), John Collins (king and messiah as Son of God), and P. O. Skjærvø¸ (Zarathustra and monotheism).
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