Children and Religion in the Archaeological Record of Ancient Israel

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
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Abstract

The current scholarly milieu has placed great interest in the topics of children and family household religion of ancient Israel; however, scholarship exploring the intersection of the two has not yet been undertaken. This article draws attention to children as vital participants in that domestic cult. Using theories of socialization and enculturation, the article explores how ancient Israelite children interact with the religion that surrounded them daily. This child-centered approach examines textual, archaeological, and ethnographical data and concludes that the process of enculturating ancient Israelite children with household religion produced children who were both passive and active participants in the domestic cult. In doing so, the article informs our knowledge of family household religion, while at the same time expanding our understanding of a child’s role within the Israelite household.

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