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.
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.