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Peoples of an Almighty God: Competing Religions in the Ancient World

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Peoples of an Almighty God: Competing Religions in the Ancient World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Some ancient civilizations, notably the Babylonians and the Israelites, held fast to the belief that their particular god (or gods) were stronger than all other heavenly powers and gods combined, supremely able to protect their well-being and success as a nation. This belief (which resounds in the modern-day rallying cry "God is on our side") led to some foolhardy and rash decisions, particularly when it came to war. For a nation defeated or conquered by a foreign power inevitably faced the profound, perplexing question: "Why did our God, who has sworn to protect us, allow this to happen?"

Jonathan A. Goldstein turns to the religious literature of these ancient peoples to discover how they reconciled their beliefs with the realities of history. In a magnificent blend of several academic disciples (literary criticism, political theory, biblical and classical history), he compares and contrasts the responses of different eras and nations–from the Israelites, Babylonians, and Egyptians to the Zoroastrians, Iranians, and Persians under Alexander the Great. Goldstein’s close readings of literature written following such devastating events as the fall of the Israelites to the Assyrians and the Babylonians demonstrate that theology, far from being a static and unchanging set of beliefs, evolves with the course of history. Revealing how each defeat helped to shape and define the religious beliefs of the conquered, Peoples of an Almighty God clearly demonstrates that no belief can remain unchanged or untouched by the beliefs of other people.

From the eBook edition.

About the Author

Jonathan A. Goldstein studied at Jewish Theological Seminary and received a doctorate at Columbia University, where he was an instructor in history for two years. He was a professor of ancient history and classics at the University of Iowa from 1962 until his retirement in 1997. In addition to many scholarly articles, Goldstein is the author of the definitive commentary on the First and Second Books of Macabbees for the Anchor Bible series. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

From the eBook edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385504737
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Subject:
Comparative Religion
Author:
Goldstein, Jonathan
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
God
Subject:
Bible - Commentaries - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Religion-Bible - Commentaries - General
Subject:
Religion : Biblical Commentary - General
Subject:
Religion : Comparative Religion
Subject:
Religion : History
Publication Date:
May 2002
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English

Related Subjects

Religion » Christianity » Bibles » Commentary » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Peoples of an Almighty God: Competing Religions in the Ancient World
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Product details pages Doubleday Religious Publishing Group - English 9780385504737 Reviews:
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