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Perichoresis

The Theological Journal of Emanuel University

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2284-7308
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WEATHER, AGRICULTURE, AND RELIGION IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Aurelian Botica
Published Online: 2014-02-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/perc-2013-0005

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine those areas of agricultural and religious life that intersected with each and influenced the way people thought of God (or the gods). We will start with the premise that in the Ancient Near East religion was intrinsically connected to agriculture and fertility, though not entirely defined by them. It is also plausible that people shared a concept of God (gods) that at times was shaped by their interaction with natural phenomena like rain, drought, storms, flooding, and animal and crop plagues. In this sense, scholars have noted the connection between “fertility” and religious life, even though some remain caution of pushing this connection too far. To evaluate the strength of this idea we will examine a number of cultic texts that appear to have presumed the link between weather, agriculture and religion. In particular, we will focus on references to weather/ storm/ fertility gods. In the later part of our study, we will ask to what extent Biblical men and women were influenced by Ancient Near Eastern religious thought. We will also explore the concept of the link between agriculture, weather and religion in Greek religious texts.

Keywords: Fertility; Sacred Prostitution Agriculture; Religion; Baal; Bible

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About the article

Aurelian Botica

AURELIAN BOTICA (PhD Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio) is Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania. He is the author of The Concept of Intention in the Bible, Philo of Alexandria and the Early Rabbinic Literature (New York: Gorgias Press, 2011).


Published Online: 2014-02-13

Published in Print: 2013-06-01


Citation Information: Perichoresis, ISSN (Online) 2284-7308, ISSN (Print) 1224-984X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/perc-2013-0005.

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