The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures

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9780231133623: The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures
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Traversing river valleys, steppes, deserts, rain-fed forests, farmlands, and seacoasts, the early Israelites experienced all the contrasting ecological domains of the ancient Near East. As they grew from a nomadic clan to become a nation-state in Canaan, they interacted with indigenous societies of the region, absorbed selective elements of their cultures, and integrated them into a radically new culture of their own. Daniel Hillel reveals the interplay between the culture of the Israelites and the environments within which it evolved. More than just affecting their material existence, the region's ecology influenced their views of creation and the creator, their conception of humanity's role on Earth, their own distinctive identity and destiny, and their ethics.

In The Natural History of the Bible, Hillel shows how the eclectic experiences of the Israelites shaped their perception of the overarching unity governing nature's varied manifestations. Where other societies idolized disparate and capricious forces of nature, the Israelites discerned essential harmony and higher moral purpose. Inspired by visionary prophets, they looked to a singular, omnipresent, omnipotent force of nature mandating justice and compassion in human affairs. Monotheism was promoted as state policy and centralized in the Temple of Jerusalem. After it was destroyed and the people were exiled, a collection of scrolls distilling the nation's memories and spiritual quest served as the focus of faith in its stead.

A prominent environmental scientist who surveyed Israel's land and water resources and has worked on agricultural development projects throughout the region, Daniel Hillel is a uniquely qualified expert on the natural history of the lands of the Bible. Combining his scientific work with a passionate, life-long study of the Bible, Hillel offers new perspectives on biblical views of the environment and the origin of ethical monotheism as an outgrowth of the Israelites' internalized experiences.

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Book Description:

Daniel Hillel follows events in the Hebrew Bible to reveal the complex interplay between the ancient Israelites and their natural and cultural environments. More than just affecting their material existence, the diverse environmental character of the ancient Near East profoundly shaped the evolution of Jewish culture and beliefs and, ultimately, of Western civilization as a whole.
Traversing river valleys, steppes, deserts, rain-fed forests, farmlands, and seacoasts, the early Israelites experienced all the contrasting ecological domains of the ancient Near East. They interacted with indigenous societies of the region, absorbed selective elements of their cultures, and integrated them into a radically new culture of their own. More than just affecting their material existence, the region's ecology influenced the Israelites' views of creation and the creator, humanity's role on Earth, and their own distinctive identity and destiny. Combining his scientific work as an ecologist with a life-long study of the Bible, Daniel Hillel shows how the environmental experiences of the ancient Israelites shaped their perception of the overarching unity governing nature and led to the evolution of ethical monotheism.

About the Author:

Daniel Hillel is professor emeritus of environmental studies, University of Massachusetts, and senior research scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books, including Negev: Land, Water, and Life in a Desert Enviornment; Out of the Earth: Civilization and the Life of the Soil; and Rivers of Eden: The Struggle for Water and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East. He is the 2012 World Food Prize Laureate.

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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Traversing river valleys, steppes, deserts, rain-fed forests, farmlands, and seacoasts, the early Israelites experienced all the contrasting ecological domains of the ancient Near East. As they grew from a nomadic clan to become a nation-state in Canaan, they interacted with indigenous societies of the region, absorbed selective elements of their cultures, and integrated them into a radically new culture of their own. Daniel Hillel reveals the interplay between the culture of the Israelites and the environments within which it evolved. More than just affecting their material existence, the region s ecology influenced their views of creation and the creator, their conception of humanity s role on Earth, their own distinctive identity and destiny, and their ethics. In The Natural History of the Bible, Hillel shows how the eclectic experiences of the Israelites shaped their perception of the overarching unity governing nature s varied manifestations. Where other societies idolized disparate and capricious forces of nature, the Israelites discerned essential harmony and higher moral purpose. Inspired by visionary prophets, they looked to a singular, omnipresent, omnipotent force of nature mandating justice and compassion in human affairs. Monotheism was promoted as state policy and centralized in the Temple of Jerusalem. After it was destroyed and the people were exiled, a collection of scrolls distilling the nation s memories and spiritual quest served as the focus of faith in its stead. A prominent environmental scientist who surveyed Israel s land and water resources and has worked on agricultural development projects throughout the region, Daniel Hillel is a uniquely qualified expert on the natural history of the lands of the Bible. Combining his scientific work with a passionate, life-long study of the Bible, Hillel offers new perspectives on biblical views of the environment and the origin of ethical monotheism as an outgrowth of the Israelites internalized experiences. Seller Inventory # AAH9780231133623

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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Traversing river valleys, steppes, deserts, rain-fed forests, farmlands, and seacoasts, the early Israelites experienced all the contrasting ecological domains of the ancient Near East. As they grew from a nomadic clan to become a nation-state in Canaan, they interacted with indigenous societies of the region, absorbed selective elements of their cultures, and integrated them into a radically new culture of their own. Daniel Hillel reveals the interplay between the culture of the Israelites and the environments within which it evolved. More than just affecting their material existence, the region s ecology influenced their views of creation and the creator, their conception of humanity s role on Earth, their own distinctive identity and destiny, and their ethics. In The Natural History of the Bible, Hillel shows how the eclectic experiences of the Israelites shaped their perception of the overarching unity governing nature s varied manifestations. Where other societies idolized disparate and capricious forces of nature, the Israelites discerned essential harmony and higher moral purpose. Inspired by visionary prophets, they looked to a singular, omnipresent, omnipotent force of nature mandating justice and compassion in human affairs. Monotheism was promoted as state policy and centralized in the Temple of Jerusalem. After it was destroyed and the people were exiled, a collection of scrolls distilling the nation s memories and spiritual quest served as the focus of faith in its stead. A prominent environmental scientist who surveyed Israel s land and water resources and has worked on agricultural development projects throughout the region, Daniel Hillel is a uniquely qualified expert on the natural history of the lands of the Bible. Combining his scientific work with a passionate, life-long study of the Bible, Hillel offers new perspectives on biblical views of the environment and the origin of ethical monotheism as an outgrowth of the Israelites internalized experiences. Seller Inventory # AAH9780231133623

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