FROM FERTILITY CULT TO WORSHIP by Walter Harrelson

FROM FERTILITY CULT TO WORSHIP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Professor Harrelson's concern in this book is with the cultic worship of ancient Israel. If the purity of worship which is so desirable today can be found in the practices of pristine Christianity, then the study of the most pristine ""Christianity"" of all--i.e., Judaism--can shed a great deal of light on contemporary religious problems. Developing that thesis, the author, after, an introductory chapter on the Israelite world-view, selects the central features of the Israelites' acts of celebration for examination--the cultic calendar, the material and personnel of celebration, worship in relation to creation, to the history of salvation, and to the Torah. A final, and concluding, chapter discusses Israelite eschatology in its intimate connection with cultic worship. The book essentially is the first step in the formulation of a mode of worship suitable to a religionless age, a mode characterized by Israelite secularism and qualified by a rational agnosticism. In the sense that it assumes that the act of worship must remain, and that only the forms of worship must be modified, it is a book for believers, but believers of both Christian and Jewish persuasion. Both will find the book readable and interesting, historically as well as theologically, if somewhat textbookish in format and presentation.

Pub Date: April 4th, 1969
Publisher: Doubleday