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Author: Rainer Albertz

Abstract

Having used the term „personal piety“ in contrast to the thesis of collectivism, which denied any individual belief in older Ancient Israel during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the author now pleads for „family and household religion“ as the more appropriate term for denoting the religious and ritual environment of the individual. This kind of religion supports all social functions of the family, that means reproduction, socialization, consumption, and production, and uses the ideal child–mother/father relationship stamped by trust and dependence as a model for constructing its symbol world. Anyhow, as much as the individual was embedded in his family, the prayer rituals performed for him were a real training of individuality. In the encounter with his personal God he learned to become aware of his own person. Here, the concept that everybody is personally created by God, which is testified by personal names since the 9th century BCE at least, can be identified as the religious basis of individuality. Such an individuality in Ancient Israel, however, was never a distinctive peculiarity in a modern sense, but always related to the identity of one’s family.

In: Religionspraxis und Individualität
Die Bedeutung von Persönlicher Frömmigkeit und Family Religion für das Personkonzept in der Antike
Der Band stellt die anthropologische Frage nach Transformationen des Personkonzepts von den vorderorientalischen Hochkulturen bis zur Spätantike in einem kulturübergreifenden und religionsgeschichtlichen Horizont. Nachdem die Artikulation von personaler Identität, von Individualität und von »inneren Tiefen« in der Vergangenheit oft erst in der Linie Platon – Paulus – Augustin angesetzt, sie der vorgriechischen Antike aber oft abgesprochen wurde, fragt der Band danach, welche Religionspraxis, gerade auch jenseits des offiziellen Kultes, in den Kulturen der vorhellenistischen Zeit für den Ausdruck von personaler Identität oder von Individualität von Bedeutung waren, was sich mit den Schriften eines Platon, Paulus oder Augustin tatsächlich geändert hat und welche anderen Faktoren in der Religionspraxis hierfür von Bedeutung waren.