Piety and Politics

Piety and Politics

Hardback The Bible in Its World



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  • Publisher: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co
  • Format: Hardback | 407 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 225mm x 30mm | 767g
  • Publication date: 18 July 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Grand Rapids
  • ISBN 10: 0802839940
  • ISBN 13: 9780802839947
  • Sales rank: 1,704,015

Product description

This fascinating study explores the crucial relationship between piety and kingship in Homeric Greece, Biblical Israel, and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia. Dale Lauderville identifies the ways -- sometimes similar, sometimes contrasting -- that the connection of royalty to religion in each of these ancient cultures legitimated the rule of particular kings and promoted community well-being.Key to this sociopolitical dynamic was the use of royal rhetoric. Because each of these cultures believed that God or the gods ruled over heaven and earth, royal rhetoric necessarily took the form of political theology. By examining a host of ancient texts and drawing on the insights of contemporary and ancient philosophers, poets, historians, anthropologists, social theorists, and theologians, Launderville elucidates the special nature of royal rhetoric in each of these cultures, showing how kings increased their authority the more they demonstrated through their speech and actions that they ruled on behalf of God or the gods.Providing important background on life in three major civilizations, this volume will be valued by a wide range of scholars and students, especially in the fields of biblical studies, ancient history, and political science.

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Review quote

"An insightful resource on three of the most significant ancient societies in whose steps we still walk."