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Peter Schäfer – "Two gods in heaven. Concepts of god in the ancient Jewish world"

The Author Speaks to Michael Wolffsohn (audio recording available, in German)

Archaeologists have shown that the Jewish God was worshipped with a female companion for a long time, despite the Bible’s criticism of other gods. But in the Bible itself there are also numerous traces of a second, younger deity that Christianity could draw on.

On the basis of ancient sources that have so far hardly received attention, Peter Schäfer describes how Judaism reacted to the appropriation of the second god by the sister religion – in part the second god was rejected, and in part the old idea of two powers in heaven was also taken up again, so that Early Christianity and rabbinic Judaism competed for the second god beside the Creator God.

Past event

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green

Where

W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (Opposite the Museum)

"Son of man," "Son of the Most High," "Firstborn before all creation." Even early Judaism had many names for a second God in heaven.

Audio recording of the reading with Peter Schäfer and Michael Wolffsohn on 12 June 2017 (in German).
Jewish Museum Berlin 2017

Masterfully and always staying close to the sources, Peter Schäfer succeeds in radically shifting our concepts of monotheism, Judaism, and Christianity in his very clearly written book Zwei Götter im Himmel. Gottesvorstellungen in der jüdischen Antike (Two Gods in Heaven. Concepts of God in the Jewish antiquity).

Peter Schäfer is Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin. Prior to this post, he taught Jewish Studies at Princeton University and the Free University Berlin.

A cooperation with C.H.Beck Publishers.

The author and Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin; photo: Yves Sucksdorff

Where, when, what?

  • When Monday 12 June 2017, 7 pm
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  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
    Klaus Mangold Auditorium

    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
    (Opposite the Museum)

    See location on map

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