Yahweh and the gods of Canaan: Canaanite influence on early monotheism in the Book of Judges.

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dc.contributor.author Hallett, Lorraine Elizabeth
dc.date.accessioned 2008-01-09T07:07:37Z
dc.date.available 2008-01-09T07:07:37Z
dc.date.issued 2008-01-09T07:07:37Z
dc.date.submitted 2003
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/192
dc.description.abstract The period of the Judges reflects a time in history where early monotheism comes into contact with many forces and influences. The most crucial of these is the Canaanite peoples with their religious practices which were focused largely on Baal and the pantheon of which he was a part. This study seeks to show that the Canaanite religious ideas had a detrimental influence on early monotheism as reflected in the book of Judges. This led to a downward spiral in which ‘everyone did what was right in his own eyes’ and consequently abandoned absolute monotheism for a syncrestic religion which led to religious and social chaos. The Canaanite religious forces which influenced the development of monotheism in this period are studied in the lives of four of the major judges, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson. The findings are then applied to today’s world in which similar influences are found. The methodology used to analyse the texts is V.K. Robbins’ socio-rhetorical method in which the layers of various texts are exposed to reveal a rich tapestry of meaning and understanding. Simultaneous analysis pertaining to narrative literature is also done. A brief description of the characteristics of Yahweh is established from the book of Judges and is used as the point of comparison with a similar description of the various gods and goddess of the Canaanite pantheon based on the Ugaritic literature. Each judge is placed in the historical, geographical, social and religious context of the narrative and the influences of the Canaanites highlighted. Applications for today are also made. The results of the study show that continuing association with the Canaanites led to the infiltration of their religious ideas into early monotheism. This encouraged the Israelites to abandon their unique monotheism for a blend of monotheism and polytheism which allowed everyone to live his life in the manner he believed was right for him. A similar situation is found in the 21st century AD. en
dc.description.sponsorship Prof. J.H. Coetzee en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject God en
dc.subject Judaism en
dc.subject Canaanites en
dc.subject monotheism en
dc.subject Judges (Bible) en
dc.title Yahweh and the gods of Canaan: Canaanite influence on early monotheism in the Book of Judges. en
dc.type Thesis en

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