In a fresh, in-depth study of the Ugaritic text often called “The Birth of the Beautiful Gods,” Smith applies the tools of detailed philological analysis and recent theoretical advances in the study of myth and ritual to illuminate this text as a sophisticated, integrated whole. In a series of rituals and myths, “The Feast of the Goodly Gods” captures a ritual moment of cosmic integration between the beneficial deities and the destructive cosmic enemies, in particular the gods after whom the text is named. This important volume not only brings the world of this fascinating Ugaritic text to life, setting it clearly within its royal context, but also provides a model for the integration of philological analysis and contemporary theories especially ritual studies in the interpretation of ancient texts, including the Bible.
Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)
About the Author
Mark S. Smith, Ph.D. (1985) in Northwest Semitics, Yale University, is Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University. He has been a visiting professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and has also taught at the École Biblique in Jerusalem, Yale University, and Saint Joseph's University. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Early History of God (Eerdmans), The Ugaritic Baal Cycle, Volume 1 (Brill), The Origins of Biblical Monotheism (Oxford University Press), and The Memoirs of God (Fortress).
Table of Contents
Preface: Rationale and Procedure xiii
Introduction and Text
Introduction and Text 3
Lines 1-29: Ritual Actions and Narrative Recitations 31
Lines 30-76: Divine Narrative 73
The Question of "Sacred Marriage" and the Textual Relations between Lines 1-29 and 30-76 127
Intersecting Genres and Cultural Codes 145
Subject Index 181
Index of Modern Authors 187
Index of Primary Sources 191