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God’s Creolization. A Regionally Sensitive Reconceptualization of the Religious History of Israel and Judah in the Iron Age

In this project, for the first time, the history of early Israelite Religion is based on the results of historical research on the emergence and development of the two states Judah and Israel. Accordingly, the renewed conception does not proceed from the biblical information. Neither Exodus nor conquest or settlement process produce a unified religion that is characterized by a monotheistic worship of YHWH. Rather, the epigraphic and onomastic evidence indicates that the god YHWH was not of considerable importance before the 9th century BCE. Since there was neither a United Monarchy of David and Solomon corresponding to the biblical account nor a Division of Kingdoms that tore apart the previously unified religion into ‘north’ and ‘south’, the development of the YHWH religion must be reconceived. YHWH started as a tutelary deity in the northern state and the Omride kings made the former local deity a ‘national’ god. The reconceptualization of Yahwistic religion is accompanied by a consistent focus on regionalization. This is embedded in a conception of the entangled religions of the Southern Levant, which are characterized by a high degree of diversity, regionality and exchange. The new history understands early Yahwism in the politically changing territories not as a constant, but as a volatile entity within entangled local histories.


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