the doctrine of revelation and henotheism


One of the blind spots in the academic study of religion has to do with revelation. Actual religious people believe that God has revealed or disclosed some of the meaning of existence and divinity. But titles like Mark Smith’s The Early History of God or Jan Assman’s The Invention of Religion assume that scholars can explain the religious ideas that began in ancient Israel without taking seriously that ancient Israelites received a revelation from God.

I am sure scholars rebel against some of the ways religious people think revelation happened. In the United States we have an evangelicalism supported by an infrastructure of megachurches, radio and TV stations, and bookstores that usually assumes the way God gets revealed is through the Bible understood as this extraordinary book that contains information about the past all the way back to creation and future until the end of the world.

But suppose God…

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