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Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel [Paperback]

By J. Andrew Dearman (Author)
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Item description for Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel by J. Andrew Dearman...

Religion in ancient Israel didn't develop in a vacuum; it was influenced by the Near Eastern culture around it as much as it in turn influenced that culture. Dearman explores that dynamic interplay in this thought-provoking study. Using archaeological and literary evidence (both biblical and extrabiblical) he shows how distinctive Old Testament traditions (such as the paradoxical role of the prophets) flourished in the interaction of Israelite religion with cultural and political forces, while other traditions languished.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.92" Width: 5.94" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   1.01 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 31, 1999
Publisher   Hendrickson Publishers
ISBN  1565634659  
ISBN13  9781565634657  

Availability  0 units.

More About J. Andrew Dearman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! J. Andrew Dearman (PhD, Emory University) is director of Fuller Texas, located in Houston TX, associate dean of the School of Theology in Pasadena, CA, and professor of Old Testament. He has worked on archaeological projects in Israel and Jordan. He has written Property Rights in the Eighth-Century, Prophets, and Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel, and has also edited and contributed to several books..

J. Andrew Dearman was born in 1951.

J. Andrew Dearman has published or released items in the following series...
  1. New International Commentary on the Old Testament
  2. NIV Application Commentary

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Israel
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > History of Religion

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Biblical History & Culture

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Reviews - What do customers think about Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel?

Religion and Culture in *biblical* Israel  Jan 21, 2003
J Andrew Dearman begins his book with definitions of religion and culture from a noted anthropologist named Clifford Geertz. Religion is a set of symbols which act as long-lasting motivations in people. In narrow contrast, culture is
"historically transmitted patterns of meaning." For Dearman religion is "inseparable" (page 5) from culture.

In the first three chapters of his book, Dearman describes the relationship between religion and culture in the Deuteronomistic history, the Chronicler's history, and the Maccabean history. In the last four chapters Dearman addresses four specific phenomena: Covenant instruction, pre-exilic prophecy, wisdom literature, and apocalypticism.

Dearman's book is heavily footnoted. One chapter has more than 200 footnotes. the book is well researched. Yet one shortcoming of Dearman's book is that he does not exercise a criticial view of the historicity of the biblical narratives. On page 127 he states that Deuteronomy "is the most comprehensive statement in the Pentateuch of the application to the life of all Israel." Yet he knows that this writing was written some centuries after the events it intends to record. For this reason I conclude that Dearman never shows that patterns of meaning were historically transmitted.

Second Dearman makes short use of extra-biblical sources in explaining the culture of ancient Israel. So what one reads in this book is a record of religion and culture in *biblical* Israel.

Finally, I find Dearman's thinking in this book to be shallow.
For example, on page 104 Dearman writes that Ezra-Nehemiah represent torah observance as a key to Israel's identity. Some 22 lines later Dearman begins the next paragraph with the same idea and little development of thought in between or afterward.


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