A leap to monotheism


I do not have time to do another post on my reading project today.  But here is something I want to call your attention to.  James K. Hoffmeier makes what I think is a very good point about the so-called monotheism of Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Much writing about religion assumes an evolution from animism to monotheism.  Hoffmeier uses the term “Darwinistic” for this.  That seems wrong to me.  The evolution posited is more Hegelian or progressive.  The progressive idea that there is a right side of history and of what C. S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery”–that things in the past are wrong just because they are in the past–has little to do with biological evolution.

But Hoffmeier makes this point:  Atenism did not evolve.  He points to good reasons to think that it arose from the Pharaoh’s personal religious experience.  He thought the singularity of the divine sun disk had been…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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