Thomas Römer on the Evolution of Yahweh and the Invention of God

Professor Thomas Römer (Professor at Collège de France and Universitè de Lausanne) lectures at Brown University, on Feb 10, 2015, on the evolution of Yahweh in biblical and extra-biblical traditions. Römer is also the author of L’Invention de Dieu [The Invention of God] (Seuil, 2014).

We all think of the Bible as a book proclaiming that there is only one God, who is the God of Israel and the God of the universe. Looking more closely, though, we find texts which admit the existence of other gods and which also indicate that Yhwh has not always been the god of Israel. Biblical traditions as well as archeology seem to agree that the origins of Yhwh are to be found somewhere in the “wilderness”. This lecture reconstructs the origins of Yhwh in the wilderness, his encounter with Israel and his transformation into the only God.

Nb. Although, in the YouTube preview, Thomas Römer appears to be delivering his lecture to only one person, there are in fact more people in the audience.

h/t: Jim West

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