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How God Became a Lawgiver: The Place of the Torah in Ancient Near Eastern Legal History

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 DIVLAW project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the DIVLAW project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "DIVLAW" about.

torah    ancient    period    realgeschichtliche    disciplines    divine    promulgation    contextualize    bible    lies    took    notion    forces    received    genesis    uniqueness    religion    ether    socio    constituting    fundamentally    judaism    kings    first    emerged    literary    context    relation    evaluation    innovative    paradigm    gods    drawing    historical    understandings    transforms    explicate    politics    time    divinity    phenomenon    longue    eacute    neighbouring    israel    religious    law    lawgiver    cultural    east    cultures    contexts    laws    reciprocal    practices    gradually    nature    elucidating    political    bce    exists    dur    investigations    webs    connecting    hellenistic    effort    polities    eastern    found    anchoring    world    greek    intellectual    god    tangential    philological    scholars    perspective    conception    parallel    history    largely    judah    bedrock    comparisons    little    regard    cross    surrounding    led    millennium    understand    near    elucidate   

Project "DIVLAW" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RAMISTRASSE 71
city: ZURICH
postcode: 8006
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Total cost 2˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-01-01   to  2024-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT ZURICH CH (ZURICH) coordinator 2˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

The Torah’s notion of divine law fundamentally transforms the nature of law found in its ancient Near Eastern context. Typically kings—not gods—took on the role of the promulgation of laws. The Torah’s conception of God as lawgiver emerged gradually through historical processes, rather than constituting the bedrock of the Bible’s literary and legal history. And, while scholars have long recognized the uniqueness of the Torah’s conception, its early historical development has received little attention. Only tangential analysis exists on the forces surrounding the genesis of the Torah’s notion of divine laws within ancient Near Eastern legal history or its impact on religion and politics in the early historical contexts of ancient Israel and Judah. This project therefore aims: 1) to explicate the anchoring of law in the religious ether of the Ancient Near East; 2) to elucidate for the first time the intellectual processes in ancient Israel and Judah that led to the notion of divine laws and God as lawgiver, drawing comparisons with other legal understandings and practices from the ancient Near East; 3) to assess the socio-political and religious impact of this notion with ancient Judaism through the Hellenistic Period; and 4) to contextualize this development in the ancient world in comparison to parallel developments in Greek polities. The project’s innovative potential lies in: 1) the evaluation of the divine laws as a historical phenomenon; 2) the neglected effort to understand their intellectual genesis and early development in a reciprocal relation to their socio-political context; 3) the cross-cultural analysis of ancient Israel and Judah and its neighbouring cultures in this regard; and 4) the application of a longue durée and realgeschichtliche perspective to largely literary and philological disciplines. These investigations offer a new paradigm for elucidating the webs connecting divinity, law, and socio-political developments in the first millennium BCE.

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The information about "DIVLAW" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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