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Genesis 1 as ancient cosmology

Author: John H Walton
Publisher: Winona Lake, Ind. : Eisenbrauns, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"The ancient Near Eastern mode of thought is not at all intuitive to us moderns, but our understanding of ancient perspectives can only approach accuracy when we begin to penetrate ancient texts on their own terms rather than imposing our own world view. In this task, we are aided by the ever-growing corpus of literature that is being recovered and analyzed.
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John H Walton
ISBN: 9781575062167 157506216X
OCLC Number: 747331967
Description: xiii, 214 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Cosmology and comparative studies : methodology --
Creation in ancient Near Eastern literature --
The ancient cosmological cognitive environment --
Genesis 1 --
Conclusions.
Other Titles: Genesis one as ancient cosmology
Responsibility: John H. Walton.

Abstract:

"The ancient Near Eastern mode of thought is not at all intuitive to us moderns, but our understanding of ancient perspectives can only approach accuracy when we begin to penetrate ancient texts on their own terms rather than imposing our own world view. In this task, we are aided by the ever-growing corpus of literature that is being recovered and analyzed.

After an introduction that presents some of the history of comparative studies and how it has been applied to the study of ancient texts in general and cosmology in particular, Walton focuses in the first half of this book on the ancient Near Eastern texts that inform our understanding about ancient ways of thinking about cosmology. Of primary interest are the texts that can help us discern the parameters of ancient perspectives on cosmic ontology - that is, how the writers perceived origins. Texts from across the ancient Near East are presented, including primarily Egyptian, Sumerian, and Akkadian texts, but occasionally also Ugaritic and Hittite, as appropriate. Walton's intention, first of all, is to understand the texts but also to demonstrate that a functional ontology pervaded the cognitive environment of the ancient Near East. This functional ontology involves more than just the idea that ordering the cosmos was the focus of the cosmological texts. He posits that, in the ancient world, bringing about order and functionality was the very essence of creative activity. He also pays close attention to the ancient ideology of temples to show the close connection between temples and the functioning cosmos.

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