- 2020 , Oxford University Press
- Theodore J. Lewis, author
- Purchase Online
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” (http://www.asor.org/news/2020/11/awards/), the 2021 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion: Historical Studies from the American Academy of Religion (https://aarweb.org/AARMBR/Publications-and-News-/Newsroom-/News-/2021/2021-AAR-Book-Awards.aspx) and the 2021 Biblical Archaeology Society Biennial Publication Award for the Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible (http://www.baslibrary.org/biblical-archaeology-review/47/4/29). 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.