1st Edition

Ultimate Devotion The Historical Impact and Archaeological Expression of Intense Religious Movements

By Yoav Arbel Copyright 2009

    From the first Jewish revolt against Rome in the first century CE to contemporary Islamic fanaticism, faith in the hands of religious zealots has been a powerful and often catastrophic means of enacting radical change. 'Ultimate Devotion' examines a range of religious movements across history to reveal the striking similarities in the way they emerged, the characters of their leaders and followers, and their often tragic conclusions. A rich variety of archaeological materials intersect with textual evidence and anthropological theory to develop a model of mass action inspired by intense religion. In its exploration of religious rebellion in history, 'Ultimate Devotion' illuminates religious fanaticism today.

    Part I 1. Introduction – A Theory of Religious Intensification 2. God and Country 3. One God, One Way 4. A Quest for Immediate Salvation 5. Messianic Hopes Shattered Part II 6. Introduction – History, Archaeology and Religious Ideology 7. Uprising in Judea 8. Narrative of Crisis 9. The Sacred Contract 10. Unearthing  Religious Intensity 11. Conclusions – Between Rome and Jericho


    Yoav Arbel, Israel Antiquities Authority.