Religious Studies lecture notes September 25 2012
glen prefers to call them judaisms, plural
judaism, christianity, and islam all have noah's ark, adam and eve, angels. they all
share similar mythic ideas but their conception of these things can be very
different. there is overlap but there are significant theological and cultural
if you're mom is jewish, you are jewish.
jews can be complete atheists and eat pork and still be called jews. you could also
be atheist and follow all observances just as a cultural thing. this is ethnicity (your
in religious studies we will be reffering to judaism inside it's religious framework.
ignore date for moses. they are giving us facts about a myth. "ridiculous"
judaism according to it's own stories is pretty damn old. all we could go by is the
sacred history that has been offered in the hebrew bible.
keep in mind the collection of the texts that are considered the jewish canon were
not compiled until the common era. there are about 1000 years between when these
stories are composed and when they end up 'finished' so influence and change are
inevitable. the stuff that makes the canon is not all that was written by any means
(book of enoch for example).
sacred history is not objective, it is the mythic 'thing'
there is no archaeological evidence for exodus from egypt or for noah's flood. (i
would contrast that with the collective memories of earlier ecological disaster)
most relavent stories for jewish study are those of the patriarchs.
ch 12 of genesis is where we meet abraham. he lived in Ur in s. mesopotamian.
god tells him to go to Canaan where he will found a great nation called the
HEBREWS (this is a nation we are talking about, not a religion keep in mind.
remember back then that your religion was completely tied into your culture).
in return for giving Abraham land, there was a covenant. Abraham and all his
male descendents must be circumcised. what is the cultural context for this story?
this whole monotheism thing may not have been the case:
HENOTHEISM the worship or devotion to one deity while at the same time
acknowledging that the other deities exist and that other people worship or are
devoed to them. this form of devotion started to take shape _____ the bronze age.
about thirty deities but the top three were
EL transcendant deity who created everything and then kind of withdrew to a
distance. he did not have much of a part in the world. ASHERAH fertility goddess, a mother goddess, sometimes the wife of El.
BA'AL Lord (or Master). he was unlike El in that he was very much in the
world and he was associated with the changing of the seasons and the fertility of
the land (as opposed to human fertility)
ba'al and his sister anat battled death and in this time there was political turmoil
and plague and when they won, the order was restored and ba'al becomes the main
God says in Genesis "let 'us' create man"
Jezebel, the paradigm of the mean slutty women, was a Hebrew Queen. She was
the representative of Asherah in court. Her son was to be divine king. The prophets
got very ticked a