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Jericho's Wall - From Rubble to Epic
Jericho's Wall - From Rubble to Epic: Reading the violent conquest of Canaan described in the Bible not as a historical account but as Ancient Israel's national epic. Combining different traditions, this story gave meaning to the difficult circumstances Israel faced from the last decades before the exile to Babylon to the resettling of the Holy Land under Persian rule.
Akhenaten and Egyptian Monotheism
The story of the Pharaoh that introduced the worship of one God before the time of Israel. Fourteen hundred years before Christ, the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV rejected the old gods of Egypt and introduced the worship of one God above all: Atun. Although he was able to promulgate a new henotheist (possibly even monotheist) religion during his lifetime, after his death the traditionalists won out, reversed his reforms, and deleted his name from the king lists. We'll look at this remarkably early innovation and its echoes in later monotheistic religion.
The Rise of Yahweh
The rise of Yahweh and the decline of the old gods of Israel: El, Baal, Asherah, and the Host of Heaven FREE OPEN LECTURE In the Book of Deuteronomy, a god divides humanity “according to the number of the gods,” granting Israel to Yahweh, who later will ride through the clouds defeating the old gods and forces of old. The origins of the God of Israel are still uncertain and scholarly opinion remains divided. We will look at the available Biblical and extra-Biblical sources to trace the evolution of a typical Near-Eastern warrior god who throughout the centuries displaced or absorbed older gods and their attributes, ultimately becoming the only true God, creator of the cosmos.
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