In A Social-Political History of Monotheism, Cataldo shows how political concerns were fundamental to the development of Judeo-Christian monotheism. Beginning with the disruptive and devastating historical events that shook early Israelite culture and ending with the seemingly victorious emergence of Christianity under the Byzantine Empire, this work highlights critical junctures marking the path from political frustration to imperial ideology. Monotheism, Cataldo argues, was not an enlightened form of religion; rather, it was a cultic response to effluent anxieties pouring out from under the crushing weight of successive empires. This provocative work is a valuable tool for anyone with an interest in the development of early Christianity alongside empires and cultures.
There are no end of histories of monotheism that concentrate on its gestation: how monotheism originated. Cataldo’s Social-Political History of Monotheism instead breaks new ground by telling the story of monotheism once it had taken shape, and how it developed. This is history on a grand scale: original, ambitious, and bracing.
- Nathan MacDonald, St John’s College, Cambridge, UK
Chapter 1: Definition of Parameters and Understanding Monotheism
Chapter 2: The Prophetic Paradigm
Chapter 3: Yahweh, the God of Monarchy
Chapter 4: The Emergence of Monotheism in Yehud
Chapter 5: The Maccabean Revolt
Chapter 6: Sectarianism and Political Strife under Empire
Chapter 7: The Punishment of Palestine
Chapter 8: Heresy, Trinity, and Political Strife in Three Parts
Chapter 9: Persecution or the End of It?
Chapter 10: Chalcedon and Orthodoxy