Media and Monotheism: Presence, Representation, and Abstraction in Ancient Judah

Research output: Book/ReportBook


'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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTübingen, Germany
PublisherMohr Siebeck
Number of pages314
ISBN (Electronic)9783161575112
ISBN (Print)9783161575105
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameOrientalische Religionen in der Antike/Oriental Religions in Antiquity
PublisherMohr Siebeck
ISSN (Print)1869-0513
ISSN (Electronic)2568-7492

Bibliographical note

Material from the following essays previously published by the author has been used in parts of chapters 2 and 3 of the present book: ‘A Theology of Writing’; ‘The Death of the Prophet’; ‘Geld und Kult im Deuteronomium’; ‘The Written Word Engraved in Stone’; ‘On Writing and Reciting in Jeremiah 36’; ‘Divine Images, Iconophobia and Monotheism in Isaiah 40–66’; ‘Anthropologie des Schreibens als Theologie des Schreibens’.


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