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Divine Presence and Absence in Exilic and Post-Exilic Judaism

Overview

The catastrophic events at the beginning of the sixth century BCE resulted in a theological crisis for the Judean elite. The end of the only surviving Hebrew kingdom was explained by a theology of divine abandonment, a motif widely understood in the ancient Near East. Many years later Jewish exiles would return to rebuild and settle Jerusalem. During their time in Babylonia and in the Persian period this group redefined the traditional understanding of divine presence and developed various new understandings that...

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Overview

The catastrophic events at the beginning of the sixth century BCE resulted in a theological crisis for the Judean elite. The end of the only surviving Hebrew kingdom was explained by a theology of divine abandonment, a motif widely understood in the ancient Near East. Many years later Jewish exiles would return to rebuild and settle Jerusalem. During their time in Babylonia and in the Persian period this group redefined the traditional understanding of divine presence and developed various new understandings that could explain YHWH's commitment to Jerusalem as well as the cataclysmic events that they had experienced. This collection of essays examines the changing ideas of divine presence and absence, and the conceptual models used to describe them. This volume is the first publication in the context of the Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group under the leadership of Nathan MacDonald. Contributors: Claus Ambos, Bob Becking, Angelika Berlejung, Joel Burnett, Stephen Cook, Michael Emmendorffer, Lisbeth S. Fried, Trevor Hart, Nathan MacDonald, Jill Middlemas, William Tooman, Johannes Zachhuber

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