Disembodied Souls: The Nefesh in Israel and Kindred Spirits in the Ancient Near East, with an Appendix on the Katumuwa Inscription
Steiner, Richard C.
Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015 pp. xvi + 210. $27.95
Ancient Near East Monographs, 11
Buy this book now from SBL
Description: Biblical scholars have long claimed that the Israelites “could not conceive of a disembodied nefesh [soul].” Steiner rejects that claim based on a broad spectrum of textual, linguistic, archaeological, and anthropological evidence spanning the millennia from prehistoric times to the present. The biblical evidence includes a prophecy of Ezekiel condemning women who pretend to trap the wandering souls of sleeping people. The extrabiblical evidence suggests that a belief in the existence of disembodied souls was part of the common religious heritage of the peoples of the ancient Near East.
•A re-examination of the evidence for and against disembodied souls in the Hebrew Bible
•A new look at the nature and behavior of disembodied souls in the Hebrew Bible
•A new study of the meaning and sociolinguistic background of the Katumuwa inscription
Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ancient Near Eastern History, Other Methods
Review by Michael S. Moore
Citation: Michael S. Moore, review of Richard C. Steiner, Disembodied Souls: The Nefesh in Israel and Kindred Spirits in the Ancient Near East, with an Appendix on the Katumuwa Inscription, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).
Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.