Thursday, June 25, 2020

Filling the void

The polemic against dea nutrix imagery for God is deeply connected with the process by which Israelite religion came to focus on a single deity for whom masculine pronouns were most commonly used. The attempted exclusion of goddess worship, particularly that of Asherah (e.g., 2 Kgs 23:4–7),34 left a psychological void for Yahwistic worshipers that continued to be filled in various ways. Monotheism was a revolutionary idea—or to put it a different way, an irregular one. It is not surprising that it was resisted; consider the backlash against the religious innovations of Akhenaten or Nabonidus. Rather, it is surprising that it endured.—Christopher B. Hays in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, 210

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