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Family Religion in Babylonia, Syria and Israel: Continuity and Change in the Forms of Religious Life
Karel Van Der Toorn
Publication Date
February 2017


Now in paperback from SBL Press

Karol van der Toorn examines the religious practices of the family in the ancient Babylonian, Syrian, and Israelite civilizations. The book gives an exhaustive description and analysis of the rites of the ancestor cult and the devotion to local gods. Van der Toorn demonstrates the role of these two aspects of family religion in the identity construction of its followers. The section dealing with Israel pays particular attention to the relationship between family religion and state religion. The book is of particular importance to biblical scholars, Assyriologists, and all those interested in the history of ancient Near Eastern religion.


  • An affordable edition of an essential Brill reference work
  • Examines both private and literary documents

Karel van der Toorn (1956) is Faculty Professor of Religion and Society in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively on Ancient Near Eastern religion. He is editor of the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (1995).