Early ‘Israelite’ Religion – An Archaeological Perspective

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017

Early ‘Israelite’ Religion – An Archaeological Perspective
Shua Kisilevitz

Traditionally, the study of early ‘Israelite’ religion has primarily centered on the biblical accounts, which are laced with later additions and religious agenda, and remain heavily debated among scholars. This eventuality is a combination of the everlasting popularity of religious studies, and the paucity of contextualized cultic finds unearthed in the region. However, with the recent discovery of an Iron IIA temple at Moẓa, less than 7 kilometers from ancient Jerusalem, complete with cult vessels, figurines and sacrificial remains, the time has come for a reassessment of the archaeological finds in the study of ‘Israelite’ religion. 

This course will focus on the formation of early ‘Israelite’ religion, approaching the topic from a primarily archaeological standpoint. We will review cultic remains found in various contexts in the Southern Levant, such as at Arad, Beer Sheba, Moẓa, Lachish, Megiddo, Ta’anach, Rehov and Dan, examining the cultural influences they represent, against the backdrop of the Iron IIA as a formative period during which several political entities, including the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel, emerged in the region. 

Spring Semester       MON  16:00-18:00