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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

Abstract

FREVEL, Christian. Beyond monotheism? Some remarks and questions on conceptualising 'monotheism' in Biblical Studies. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.34, n.2, pp.1-7. ISSN 2074-7705.

In the first part of this article I outline serious objections against the concept of monotheism. I will ask whether the ambiguity and the problem discredit the concept of monotheism as inappropriate for Biblical Studies, or whether it calls for differentiation. In the argument following thereupon, the concept is found to be more useful to describe certain stages of the conceptual and linguistic development of Israelite religion. The term and concept of monotheism in Biblical Studies is necessary, but not sufficient, if we want to reconstruct the religious history of Israel, Judah, Yehûd and Early Judaism or Judaisms. In this article I propose categories such as implicit monotheism, intolerant monolatry, implicit exclusion, explicit uniqueness, monotheism as implication et cetera, which are especially useful if we want an accurate description of the statements. This makes the category of monotheism useful as heuristic and relational category.

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