Hosea's (In)Fertility God

in Horizons in Biblical Theology
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This paper challenges the prevailing view of Hosea's concept of God as a deity wholly other than and opposed to the fertility deities of Canaan. This view depends upon the dominant reading of Hosea's sexual metaphors in which "adultery" with the baalim is understood as a critique of popular fertility religious practices. This paper argues that the theological conflict Hosea addresses is not one of fertility religion verses faith in a "God of History," but rather of localized and/or nationalized concepts of deity verses the prophet's vision of YHWH as a high god who incorporates into Himself all the powers of all the gods, including the powers of fertility.



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