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Ultimate Devotion: The Historical Impact and Archaeological Expression of Intense Religious Movements (Yoav Arbel) Hardcover Book, (Acumen Publishing, 2009) 9781845532260

Title: Ultimate Devotion: The Historical Impact and Archaeological Expression of Intense Religious Movements

Author: Arbel, Yoav

Publisher: Acumen Publishing; Publication Date: 2009

Hardcover; ISBN: 9781845532260

Volumes: 1; Pages: 216

List Price in Hardcover: $99.95 Our price: $80.99

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In the hands of dissenting religious zealots faith and ritual can be powerful means in mobilizing people towards radical change. From the viewpoint of many historical rebel-zealots shattering existing political and social institutions was a pre-condition for the forthcoming regency of God. Repercussions were traumatic, often catastrophic.

This book examines several intense religious movements from various historical backgrounds. Even though there were no known communications between the cultures and groups from which the movements arose, they show striking similarities in the ways they emerged, in the characters of their leaders and followers, as well as in their often tragic conclusion. The earliest of these cases, the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (66-73 C.E.) is discussed in particular detail. The importance of this case is in its historical and ideological affiliations to Jewish, Christian, and in a less direct way Muslim messianism. In addition, it offers a rich variety of archaeological materials that reflect the intense religious ideology which guided the rebels. Some classes of finds can be used in the investigation of religious intensification in other times, cultures and circumstances.

Overall, this book joins archaeological and textual evidence to anthropological theory to present a previously untested model of mass action inspired by intense religion. New light is shed on dramatic developments that altered the history of the peoples involved, with meaningful insights on some pressing issues in our own modern realities.


Part I

1. Introduction--A Theory of Religious Intensification

2. God and Country

3. One God, One Way

4. A Quest for Immediate Salvation

5. Messianic Hopes Shattered

Part II

6. Introduction: History, Archaeology and Religious Ideology

7. Uprising in Judea

8. Narrative of Crisis

9. The Sacred Contract

10. Unearthing Religious Intensity

11. Conclusions: Between Jericho and Rome

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