Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism (George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History)

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9780299225544: Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism (George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History)

For thousands of years, our world has been shaped by biblical monotheism. But its hallmark--a distinction between one true God and many false gods--was once a new and radical idea. Of God and Gods explores the revolutionary newness of biblical theology against a background of the polytheism that was once so commonplace. Jan Assmann, one of the most distinguished scholars of ancient Egypt working today, traces the concept of a true religion back to its earliest beginnings in Egypt and describes how this new idea took shape in the context of the older polytheistic world that it rejected. He offers readers a deepened understanding of Egyptian polytheism and elaborates on his concept of the Mosaic distinction, which conceives an exclusive and emphatic Truth that sets religion apart from beliefs shunned as superstition, paganism, or heresy. Without a theory of polytheism, Assmann contends, any adequate understanding of monotheism is impossible

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About the Author:

Jan Assmann is professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Heidelberg. He is also Honorary Professor of Cultural Theory at Konstanz University and had been a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, Yale University, the University of Chicago, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. A prize-winning scholar, he has published extensively on religious history and ancient Egypt

Review:

"A masterful achievement--brimming with fundamental and challenging insights about monotheism and polytheism, religious violence and exclusivity. It is a tough-minded inquiry in every sense, with the cultural semantics of theology brought to the center of historical reflection. With this work, Assmann solidifies his stature as one the premier historians of religious ideas in our generation."--Michael Fishbane, Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies, The University of Chicago

"A masterful achievement-brimming with fundamental and challenging insights about monotheism and polytheism, religious violence and exclusivity. It is a tough-minded inquiry in every sense, with the cultural semantics of theology brought to the center of historical reflection. With this work, Assmann solidifies his stature as one the premier historians of religious ideas in our generation."-Michael Fishbane, Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies, The University of Chicago

"An important contribution to the fields of Egyptology, Biblical studies, and the general study of religion."--Israel Knohl, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

“An important contribution to the fields of Egyptology, Biblical studies, and the general study of religion.”—Israel Knohl, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

“A masterful achievement—brimming with fundamental and challenging insights about monotheism and polytheism, religious violence and exclusivity. It is a tough-minded inquiry in every sense, with the cultural semantics of theology brought to the center of historical reflection. With this work, Assmann solidifies his stature as one the premier historians of religious ideas in our generation.”—Michael Fishbane, Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies, The University of Chicago

“Of God and Gods deserves to be studied carefully by all scholars and students of the history of monotheism, and Assmann’s unique ability as a scholar of comparative religion and as an Egyptologist has allowed him to access the biblical texts with an insight and vigour mostly unmatched by those who have attempted to study the Hebrew Bible in isolation on this very relevant topic.”—Brian R. Doak, "Religion"

"Of God and Gods deserves to be studied carefully by all scholars and students of the history of monotheism, and Assmann's unique ability as a scholar of comparative religion and as an Egyptologist has allowed him to access the biblical texts with an insight and vigour mostly unmatched by those who have attempted to study the Hebrew Bible in isolation on this very relevant topic."--Brian R. Doak, "Religion"

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. X, 222 Pp. and.. Language: English . Brand New Book. For thousands of years, our world has been shaped by biblical monotheism. But its hallmark - a distinction between one true God and many false gods - was once a new and radical idea. Of God and Gods explores the revolutionary newness of biblical theology against a background of the polytheism that was once so commonplace.Jan Assmann, one of the most distinguished scholars of ancient Egypt working today, traces the concept of a true religion back to its earliest beginnings in Egypt and describes how this new idea took shape in the context of the older polytheistic world that it rejected. He offers readers a deepened understanding of Egyptian polytheism and elaborates on his concept of the Mosaic distinction, which conceives an exclusive and emphatic Truth that sets religion apart from beliefs shunned as superstition, paganism, or heresy.Without a theory of polytheism, Assmann contends, any adequate understanding of monotheism is impossible. This work will be of great interest to anyone seeking to understand the relationship between God and gods. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780299225544

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