Price of Monotheism

ISBN-10: 0804761604

ISBN-13: 9780804761604

Edition: 2010

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Nothing has so radically transformed the world as the distinction between true and false religion. In this nuanced consideration of his own controversialMoses the Egyptian, renowned Egyptologist Jan Assmann answers his critics, extending and building upon ideas from his previous book. Maintaining that it was indeed the Moses of the Hebrew Bible who introduced the true-false distinction in a permanent and revolutionary form, Assmann reiterates that the price of this monotheistic revolution has been the exclusion, as paganism and heresy, of everything deemed incompatible with the truth it proclaims. This exclusion has exploded time and again into violence and persecution, with no end in sight. Here, for the first time, Assmann traces the repeated attempts that have been made to do away with this distinction since the early modern period. He explores at length the notions of primary versus secondary religions, of "counter-religions," and of book religions versus cultic religions. He also deals with the entry of ethics into religion's very core. Informed by the debate his own work has generated, he presents a compelling lesson in the fluidity of cultural identity and beliefs.
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Book details

List price: $20.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 10/29/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 152
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Jan Assmann is professor of Egyptology at the University of Heidelberg.

Translator's Note
The Mosaic Distinction and the Problem of Intolerance
How Many Religions Stand Behind the Old Testament?
What is Truth?
Intolerance, Violence, and Exclusion
Constructions of the Other: Religious Satire
Monotheism-A Counterreligion to What?
Monotheism Versus Polytheism
Akhenaten and Moses: Egyptian and Biblical Monotheism
Monotheism as Anti-Cosmotheism
Monotheism as Political Theology: Ethics, Justice, Freedom
Law and Morality in the "Pagan" World and the Theologization of Justice in Monotheism
The Clash of Memories: Between Idolatry and Iconoclasm
The Legend of the Lepers and the Amarna Trauma in Egypt
Iconoclasm and Iconolatry
Prisca theologia and the Abolition of the Mosaic Distinction
The Tightening of the Mosaic Distinction and the Rise of Paganology
Sigmund Freud and Progress in Intellectuality
The Jewish and Greek Options
The Trauma of Monotheism: Analytic Hermeneutics and Mnemohistory
The Ban on Graven Images as Progress in Intellectuality
The Psychohistorical Consequences of Monotheism
The "Scriptural Turn": From Cult to Book
Into the Crypt
The Invention of the Inner Self
Counterreligion and the Concept of Sin
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