Friday, February 03, 2006

Canaanite Religion according to the Liturgical Texts of Ugarit

I am about done with this very interesting book. It is a very good overview of the Ugaritic ritual texts. The last chapter is titled "Religion of Everyday Life" and discusses what we can glean from the texts concerning everyday life versus ritual life. To do this he goes to the epics and letters, among other texts. But, the interesting observation was on page 324, about the difference in how the gods are portrayed in epic versus myth:

"There is no escaping that in myth, the 'stories' of the gods, the way the various deities behave, is not the same as in epic, which is about humans. Within human destiny and so at the margin of their naturalistic character, the gods are more autonomous, and less hierarchical."

Interesting observation...anyway, the next book I am going to read is one that I wasn't going to until I read the RBL review of it: The Gendered Language of Warfare in the Israelite-Assyrian Encounter. We'll see if the book lives up to the review, found here.

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