Religion and Power

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-03-30
  • Publisher: Oriental Inst Pubns Sales

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This volume represents a collection of contributions presented during the Third Annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Seminar Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond, held at the Oriental Institute, February 2324, 2007. The purpose of this conference was to examine more closely concepts of kingship in various regions of the world and in different time periods. The study of kingship goes back to the roots of fields such as anthropology and religious studies, as well as Assyriology and Near Eastern archaeology. More recently, several conferences have been held on kingship, drawing on cross-cultural comparisons. Yet the question of the divinity of the the king as god has never before been examined within the framework of a cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary conference. Some of the recent anthropological literature on kingship relegates this question of kings who deified themselves to the background or voices serious misgivings about the usefulness of the distinction between divine and sacred kings. Several contributors to this volume have pointed out the Western, Judeo-Christian background of our categories of the human and the divine. However, rather than abandoning the term divine kingship because of its loaded history it is more productive to examine the concept of divine kingship more closely from a new perspective in order to modify our understanding of this term and the phenomena associated with it.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Introductionp. 1
Historical and Textual Aspects of Divine Kingship in Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt
The Divine Prototypesp. 13
The Mortal Kings of Ur: A Short Century of Divine Rule in Ancient Mesopotamiap. 33
Aspects of Kingship in Ancient Egyptp. 47
Iconography and Anthropology of Divine Kingship
Touched by the Gods: Visual Evidence for the Divine Status of Rulers in the Ancient Near Eastp. 75
Dieu et Mon Droit: Kingship in Late Babylonian and Early Persian Timesp. 103
The King Is Dead, Long Live the King: The Last Days of the Su-Sin Cult at Esnunna and Its Aftermathp. 133
Royal Deification: An Ambiguation Mechanism for the Creation of Courtier Subjectivitiesp. 157
The Sacralized Body of the Akwapim Kingp. 171
Maya Divine Kingshipp. 191
Divine Kingship and Empire
Human and Divine Kingship in Early China: Comparative Reflectionsp. 207
The Role of Religion in Achaemenian Imperialismp. 221
Divinity and Power in Ancient Romep. 243
Divine Kingship in Mesopotamia, A Fleeting Phenomenonp. 261
When Gods Ruled: Comments on Divine Kingshipp. 267
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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