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Title: The Babylonian Exile as the Birth Trauma of Monotheism
Author(s): MARKL, Dominik
Volume: 101 Issue: 1 Date: 2020
The reasons that led to the transition from the promotion of the exclusive worship of YHWH in pre-exilic Judah to the post-exilic formulation of ‘theoretical monotheism’, i.e., the denial of the existence of any god other than YHWH, have sparked considerable debate. This article adduces psychological and sociological trauma studies to argue that the Babylonian Exile appears in several biblical texts as 'cultural trauma'. The analysis of two key texts for the emergence of 'theoretical monotheism', Deuteronomy 4 and Deutero-Isaiah, suggests that their reflections of the cultural trauma of Exile are causally linked with the promotion of monotheism. Against this background, the Babylonian Exile can be described as the 'birth trauma' of monotheism.