In An Introduction to Ancient Mesopotamian Religion Tammi J. Schneider provides a succinct but comprehensive look at the fascinating world of ancient religious belief and practice in Mesopotamian region, also known as the modern Middle East.
Schneider's treats the religion of the peoples living in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from the beginning of the Bronze Age to the time of Alexander the Great and Darius III. Drawing on extant texts, artifacts, and architecture, Schneider uncovers both an intriguing pantheon of deities - including Marduk, Ishtar, and many others - and the complex, fluid, and highly ritualized religious experience of the people who spent their lives serving and appeasing them.
This succinct treatment makes an excellent supplemental reading selection for courses emphasizing the historical and broader religious context of the Old Testament, and will also serve well for all students of ancient history.
In An Introduction to Mesopotamian Religion Tammi J. Schneider offers readers a basic guide to the religion of the peoples living in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers from the beginning of the Bronze Age to the time of Alexander the Great and Darius III. Drawing from extant texts, artifacts, and architecture, Schneider reveals a complex, fluid, and highly ritualized polytheism and describes both its intriguing pantheon of deities and the religious experience of the people who spent their lives serving and appeasing them.
Tammi J. Schneider is professor of religion at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, and is codirector of excavations at Tell el-Farah, Israel. Her other books include Sarah: Mother of Nations.
Jack M. Sasson
"Tammi Schneider has done us all a great service by writing this attractive overview of Mesopotamian religions. The book is encyclopedic in the best sense of the word: comprehensive, reliable, in-depth, and up-to-date, with notes that invite further inspection. It should be useful to students learning about the cultures of the ancient world as well as to teachers in allied specialties. Both length and price are just right."
K. Lawson Younger Jr.
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"Tammi Schneider has provided an extremely useful initiation into the very complex world of ancient Mesopotamian religion. Students will benefit from the clear presentation and writing style of the author and will, undoubtedly, be challenged to dig deeper into the intricacies of the various topics and issues that are introduced."
Karel van der Toorn
University of Amsterdam
"Schneider's state-of-the-art introduction is bound to become a standard textbook on Mesopotamian religion."
Mark W. Chavalas
University of WisconsinLa Crosse
"Scholars of the ancient Near East have only recently begun to attempt syntheses of their material for the public. Not only does Tammi Schneider take the very complicated topic of Mesopotamian religion and make it understandable to the beginning student, but she also provides a solid framework for understanding the wider context of the Judeo-Christian religious traditions. In addition, her detailed and erudite notes will help the reader who is interested in pursuing further research on the subject of comparative religions. She is to be commended!"
Journal of Ancient Judaism
"This compact guide introduces its readers to the religions of Mesopotamia from the beginning of the Bronze Age until the time of Alexander the Great."
Review of Biblical Literature
"Schneider provides a high-quality study in her work on ancient Mesopotamian religion. This eleven-chapter monograph is lucid and concise, and in an era when students choose a class based on the reasonable cost of its required text(s), this book is refreshingly affordable. . . . The book is also thoroughly annotated, making the sources accessible to both novice and specialist. . . . Very effective at covering many topics succinctly yet broadly."
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"Schneiders introduction gives the most essential and uncontested basics of this field in as brief a format as may be found. It includes a valuable timeline of the significant figures and periods of various regions."
Midwest Book Review
"An excellent addition to any collection studying ancient faiths."
Journal of the American Oriental Society
"An attractive little book that gives an orientation to beginning students of the Hebrew Bible."