“When on High the Heavens…” Mesopotamian Religion and Spirituality with Reference to the Biblical World
This English translation of Giorgio Buccellati’s ambitious work offers readers an insightful discussion of ancient Mesopotamian religion and spirituality in its relationship to the biblical ethos.
Our understanding of ancient Mesopotamian religion, while shaped by a wealth of archaeological, artistic, and epigraphic evidence, remains limited with regard to a proper hermeneutic approach. In this volume, Buccellati sheds light on the spirituality of Mesopotamian polytheism by drawing comparisons with that of biblical monotheism. These comparisons are used to better understand the divine-human relationship in the Mesopotamian context, as both individuals and members of a wider community. In addition, Buccellati provides detailed discussions on divination and the central role of fate in ancient Mesopotamia. Buccellati’s understanding of Mesopotamian religion and spirituality as illuminated by biblical texts, now available to an Anglophone audience, offers much food for thought on this challenging subject.
"When on High the Heavens…": Mesopotamian Religion and Spirituality with Reference to the Biblical World provides a wide-ranging and thorough exploration of Mesopotamian religion for students, scholars, and researchers in Near Eastern archaeology and history, biblical studies, and the history of religion and spirituality.
Introduction 1. Religion and spirituality; 2. Mesopotamia and the Bible; PART 1: The divine element; 3. The concept of the divine; 4. The encounter with the divine; 5. Structure of the divine; 6. Diachronic developments; PART 2: The human element in his relationship with the divine; 7. The "affecting presence"; SECTION ONE: The individual; A. The divine manifestation at the individual level; 8. Morality; 9. Divination; 10. Prophetism; 11. Apparitions; B. The search for the divine at an individual level; 12. Meditation; 13. Magic and rituals for the individual; 14. Individual prayer; 15. Materializations; SECTION TWO. The community; A. The divine manifestation at the community level; 16. Politics; 17. Narrative; 18. Representations; 19. History; B. The search for the divine at the community level; 20. The temple; 21. Proclamation; 22. Worship; 23. The ruin of the sacred; Conclusion; 24. Them and us; 25. Fatigue and catharsis; 26. Afterword.