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Ancient peoples regarded names as indicative of character and destiny. The Jews were no exception. This is a critical study of ancient exegesis of the title `Israel' and the meanings attributed to it among Jews down to Talmudic times, along with some early Christian materials. C. T. R. Hayward explores ancient etymologies of `Israel', and the utilization of these very varied explanations of the name in sustained works of exegesis like Jubilees; the writings of Ben Sira, Philo, and Josephus; and selected Rabbinic texts including Aramaic Targumim. He also examines translational works like the Septuagint, to illuminate those writings' sense of what it meant to be a Jew.
Of the approximately fifty percent of Americans who believe in UFOs, a fraction are devotees of one of the numerous UFO-based new religious movements. The Unarius Academy of Science is one of the oldest of these groups. Founded in 1954 by Cosmic Visionaries Ruth and Ernest Norman (also known, respectively, as Archangels Uriel and Raphiel), Unarius is devoted to teaching the all-encompassing Uranian Science. Combining elements of pop psychology, new age thought, and science fiction, the Science asks its students to channel messages from the infinitely intelligent Space Brothers and to heal themselves through the practice of past-life therapy. Unarians await the arrival of spaceships, manned by the Space Brothers, that will bring to earth advanced intergalactic technology that will benefit all humankind. Tumminia has been conducting research on Unarius for over a decade - attending meetings, inteviewing members, and studying official Unarian literature and videos. Here she offers an inside look at this fascinating movement. She pays particular attention to the ways Unarians adapt when their prophecies - and particularly their prediction that the Space Brothers would land in 2001 - don't materialize. This is the first in-depth study of any UFO religion.
For thirty years Robert Graves and Raphael Patai, one raised a strict Protestant, the other a strict Jew, were close friends and collaborators. That collaboration culminating in the book Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis ; 'we never disagreed on any question of fact or historical assessment'. They collected traditional Hebrew myths that amplify (and sometimes subtly change) stories found in the Book of Genesis . They go beyond the Christian biblical and Judaic versions of Hebrew myth, and use midrashim, folk-tales, apocryphal texts and other sources to nuance, extend and complete the stories. 'Myths are dramatic stories that form a sacred charter either authorising the continuance of ancient institutions, customs, rites and beliefs in the area where they are current, or approving alterations,' says the introduction. Those are the very myths that lie at the base of all the great Semitic monotheistic religions, the myths from which so many of our own structures and concerns spring. Part of the mission of this book is to see through from the authorised Bible texts to the suppressed and censored pre-Biblical accounts. Patai and Graves approach their subject with firm scholarship and informed inference, and as we read we become aware of shadows, colours, intensities, coming back into stories we thought we knew. Like Graves's celebrated The Greek Myths , to which Hebrew Myths serves as a companion volume, this is an invaluable source book and reference tool, but it is also a fascinating text to read sequentially. From it emerges a rich sense of a culture in the making, a culture consisting of oral and literary traditions, where the spiritual is deeply rooted in landscape and history.