Media and Monotheism 978-3-16-157511-2 - Mohr Siebeck
Classics

Joachim Schaper

Media and Monotheism

Presence, Representation, and Abstraction in Ancient Judah

[Medien und Monotheismus. Präsenz, Repräsentation und Abstraktion im antiken Juda.]

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In this study, Joachim Schaper investigates the transformation of the pre-exilic Yahweh religion into the monotheism of the post-exilic period which was triggered by a new constellation of key media: writing, images, and money. He thus reconstructs Judah's religious history in its most important epoch and one of the key developments in the religious history of humanity.
'Symbolising' – i.e., representing through the use of media – is a more elementary, more foundational activity than the self-conscious use of the intellect. Its exploration is central to this investigation of the transformation of the pre-exilic Yahweh religion into the monotheism of the post-exilic period. That transformation was triggered by a new constellation of key media in the pre-exilic and exilic periods: writing, images, and money. The central objective is to understand how their use contributed to a decisive increase in abstraction in representation and led to changes in the conceptualisation of divine presence and its representation that ultimately resulted in the transition from monolatry to monotheism. In this study, Joachim Schaper explores neglected areas of Judahite material culture and contributes to an in-depth reconstruction of Judah's religious history in its most important epoch, and thus of one of the key developments in the religious history of humanity.
Authors/Editors

Joachim Schaper Born in 1965; 1993: PhD (Cantab); 1999: Habilitation; 2005–12: Reader, then Professor in Hebrew, Old Testament and Early Jewish Studies; since 2012: Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at the University of Aberdeen; 2016–19: President of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament.

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