Since the publication of the German edition of
Israel and Revelation a noteworthy turnaround in the method of conducting research on this book has taken place.
The innovation consisted of bringing its interdisciplinary nature into greater relief, an aim which is further pursued by the essays collected in the present volume. Its four thematic sections focus respectively on civilization forms, on the order of human history, on specific aspects of Old Testament exegesis, and finally on the meaning of the term “revelation” in the context of the biblical events narrated.
Three kinds of sources: Personal names, diĝir-ša3-dab(5)-ba prayers (prayers addressed to the personal gods) and dialogues between a Man and his God give us a privileged access to private piety in Mesopotamia. The personal gods have a protective function similar to the protective spirits (šēdu and lamassu) but are said also to create (banû or walādu) man. Man’s relationship to his personal gods is one of parent-to-child and not one of king-to-subject as is the case with the national gods. Appeasing the anger of the personal gods requires the accomplishment of penitential rituals like ilī ul īdi “My god, I did not know”, magical rituals and dream omens. In these texts Man shows a sense of guilt and expects the compassion of his personal gods. The Mesopotamian culture does not show a preponderance of shame over guilt. We try to show the originality of the Mesopotamian concept of person.
What is interiority? The task for the present chapter is to define interiority, not in negative terms (vis-à-vis exteriority) as is often done, but as an act of overcoming the confines of finitude. By tracing the metamorphosis of interiority, the chapter illustrates how Augustine articulates the dynamic ‘I’ in light of God, and shows that interiority is realized fully only as Church. We begin by elucidating the enigmas of interior estrangement and relational fragmentation as per Book X of Confessions (§1). The discussion then turns to the dynamism of the Trinitarian structure of relation and its exterior and corporeal orientation in On the Trinity (§2). Through the Word incarnate, the voice of the Church in the Expositions on the Psalms functions as a unifying narrative to gather and harmonize an otherwise dissipated interiority (§3). Thus the Church as an image of the soul exteriorly signifies the unity which the making of Church interiorly transforms in the soul (§4). The conception of interiority for Augustine goes in hand with exteriority and with the performative action of Christ in the Church.
The contribution turns to the topic of „inner man“ in the Old Testament and especially in the Psalms. After a preliminary remark on the history of ideas, the Old Testament story of the „inner man“ is reconstructed using the example of older proverbs (aspect: sincerity), deuteronomic texts (aspect: internalization) and the individual psalms (aspect: self-awareness). Two excursions on creation by God and on the heart as the place of the Torah complete the picture. The other occurrences of the topic in the Lamentations and in the books of Jeremiah, Job, Kohelet and Sirach will only be discussed in passing.
Excavations in Boğazköy, ancient Ḫattuša, in Central Anatolia, brought thousands of clay tablets to light, which tell the story of the Hittites, a people that lived in Anatolia in the second half of the second millennium BC. Almost all of these texts were found in archives of the royal court, many among these being official documents that describe the national cults of the Hittite gods. Via these cults, the king and queen maintained a good relationship between the gods and royal family, and also affirmed the gods’ protection over the land. The present article tries to shed light on another side of Hittite religion, which does not center on the national cult but rather that of the personal gods of Hittite kings as well as the family religion of the Hittite population. Moreover, it strives to approach the issue of individuality among the Hittites and tries to understand and interpret the non-religious official documents of Hittite kings. For these purposes especially those of Telipinu, Muršili II and Ḫattušili III, in their political setting will be considered.
Paul’s letters to 2 Corinthians and to Romans afford deep insight into the “inner and outer human being.” Until now, the Platonic concept of the “inner/outer human being,” which is specially oriented towards the soul, has been of pivotal importance for New Testament Exegesis. This article argues instead that the principle of an inner and outer human being was used in Hellenistic times with differing connotations and in differing contexts and that Paul’s elaborations on the topic should also be analyzed in light of this diverse medical-philosophical tradition. The phrase “the human being inside and outside” should neither be equated with the soul and the body nor reduced to a simply dualistic notion.
The article explores the meaning of personal piety for transformations in the concept of person in ancient Israel and its environment. Therefore, it clarifies the relevant terms such as P/personal piety („P/persönliche Frömmigkeit“), everyday religiosity („Alltagsreligiosität“), Family / Household / Domestic Religion, individual religiosity („individuelle Religiosität“). Traces of a personal piety known from Egypt are found in a Babylonian text from the middle of the 1st millennium BC (the lament of Nabû-šuma-ukîn) and in the Israelite psalms, especially Ps 27 and 42–43. Here, features of a „personal piety“ can be found such as the longing for closeness to God, the supplication for help from the personal God and an intimate relationship with Him, as well es new forms of addressing the interior: in Ps 27 the heart speaks, in Ps 42–43 the speaker talks to the own næpæš. Thus forms of „Personal piety“ proof to be important for the transformation of the concept of person.