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Gods in the Desert


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Table of Contents

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

About the Author

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."


With so much contemporary attention focused on the Middle East, the time is opportune for a clear, well-written, up-to-date introduction to its earlier counterpart, the ancient Near East. Holland magnificently succeeds in providing such a work. . . . Holland's writing is free of jargon; all terms, including religion, are carefully defined, and the volume offers many aids, including maps, a time line, and glossary. . . . Highly recommended. * CHOICE, March 2010 *
I selected Gods in the Desert as one of the texts for my course in Middle Eastern Civilizations. There is no other book like it out there, and it is successful in distilling so much material into such a brief and accessible book. The writing is clear, avoids jargon, and really informs. It fills a real void in undergraduate texts. -- Curtis F. Morgan Jr., Lord Fairfax Community College
A valuable introduction for students and general readers alike. Glenn Holland's accessible prose and carefully structured approach take the reader on an engaging journey through time across Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syria-Palestine. His exploration of key themes, thoughtful treatment of celebrated primary sources, and judicious handling of history combine effectively to map out the religious and cultural landscape of these fascinating regions. -- Dexter E. Callender Jr., University of Miami
An excellent book. I like the scope. I like its readability. I like that he approaches topics related to biblical history without pressing 'red buttons' for my students, who tend to be theologically conservative. I'll definitely adopt this text. -- Robert Mullins, Azusa Pacific University
Survey books tend to oversimplify, but this book provides a nuanced presentation of ancient religious practice. If used for undergraduate teaching, this book would be useful as a resource, providing general descriptions of ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian religions. * Historian *

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