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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.

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

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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