Gods in the Desert explores the fascinating religious cultures of the ancient Near East. From the mysterious pyramids, tombs, and temples of Egypt to the powerful heroes, gods, and legends of Mesopotamia, Glenn Holland guides readers through the early religions that are the root of many of today's major faiths. Holland compares the religions of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syria-Palestine, including Israel and Judah, from the Neolithic era through the conquest of Alexander the Great. He provides a historical survey of each region, then discusses the gods, the rulers, the afterlife, and the worship rituals. This accessible overview makes clear how these religions converged and diverged, and are intimately connected to many of the religions we recognize today, sometimes in surprising ways.
Glenn S. Holland is professor of religious studies at Allegheny College. He is also the creator of the Teaching Company's popular lecture series "Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World."
List of Illustrations List of Maps Time Line Preface Introduction: Religion and Its Characteristic Expression Section 1: Egypt Chapter 1: Egypt: Historical Survey Chapter 2: Egypt: The Gods and the World They Made Chapter 3: Egypt: The King and Royal Power Chapter 4: Egypt: The World of the Dead Chapter 5: Egypt: The Human World Section 2: Mesopotamia Chapter 6: Mesopotamia: Historical Survey Chapter 7: Mesopotamia: The Gods and the World They Made Chapter 8: Mesopotamia: The World of Kings and Heroes Chapter 9: Mesopotamia: The World of the Dead Chapter 10: Mesopotamia: The Human World Section 3: Syria-Palestine Chapter 11: Syria-Palestine: Historical Survey Chapter 12: Syria-Palestine: The Gods and the World They Made Chapter 13: Syria-Palestine: Kings and Prophets Chapter 14: Syria-Palestine: Suffering and Death Chapter 15: Syria-Palestine: The Human World Conclusion: Change and Continuity in the Hellenistic Age Bibliography for Further Reading Glossary Index