Skip to main content

The Origin and Character of God: Ancient Israelite Religion Through the Lens of Divinity

The Origin and Character of God: Ancient Israelite Religion Through the Lens of Divinity

The Origin and Character of God is a comprehensive reference work that explores the vast subject that is the God of ancient Israel. It received the 2020 Frank Moore Cross Award from the American Schools of Oriental Research for “the most substantial volume related to the history and/or religion of the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean.” In the volume, Lewis examines questions of historical origin, how God was characterized in literature, and how he was represented in archaeology and iconography. The volume also brings us into the lived reality of religious experience. Using the window of divinity to peer into the varieties of religious experience in ancient Israel, Lewis explores the royal use of religion for power, prestige, and control; the intimacy of family and household religion; priestly prerogatives and cultic status; prophetic challenges to injustice; and the pondering of theodicy by poetic sages.