Early Jewish Monotheisms
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A Yehud coin depicting a local deity. more...
By permission of the British Museum.



The Sofja-Kovaleskaja Research Team, “Early Jewish Monotheisms”, conducts research on the unity and diversity of monotheisms in the biblical texts from the exilic and Persian periods.



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Early Jewish Monotheisms

The origins and development of monotheism in ancient Israel has been one of the most significant debates within the study of the Old Testament of the last thirty years. It has generated numerous books and articles and resulted in a significant shift in scholarly consensus and added considerably to our understanding of ancient Israelite religious life and thought.

Unfortunately, the discussion is frequently concluded prematurely with the exilic ‘breakthrough’ to monotheism by Deutero-Isaiah. Often scholars have worked with assumptions about the nature of monotheism which has obscured the fact that the meaning and consequences of belief in one God continue to be under negotiation into and beyond the Persian period.

The Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group under the leadership of Dr Nathan MacDonald seeks to examine the considerable diversity in Israelite and Jewish monotheistic thought and practice during the exilic and Persian periods, particularly through an examination of the relevant biblical texts. This website describes the academic activities of the research group and seeks to provide a number of resources for those who are interested in the subject of monotheism. more...