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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Theo van den Hout: “A is for Anatolia: Writing and Literacy in the Hittite Kingdom”

Theo van den Hout delivers a lecture examining the chronological development of writing and literacy in the Hittite Kingdom, Brown University,  April 11, 2013. The lecture commences at 3:45.

Theo van den Hout is Professor of Hittite and Anatolian Languages in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

He received his PhD in Hittite and Anatolian languages from the University of Amsterdam in 1989 after a BA and MA in Classics, Comparative Indo-European linguistics and Anatolian studies at both Leiden and Amsterdam. Currently he is Professor of Hittite and Anatolian Languages at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Hittite Dictionary (CHD) since 2000. He is the author of several books, most recently “The Elements of Hittite”(Cambridge UP 2011) and many articles.

While interested in all aspects of Late Bronze and Iron Age Anatolia his work focuses on Hittite culture, history, and language. Besides his work on the dictionary his recent personal interests are ancient record management, literacy and writing in Hittite society.