Cover image for Egypt, trunk of the tree
Egypt, trunk of the tree
Najovits, Simson R.
Personal Author:
Physical Description:
volumes ; 24 cm
v. 1. The contexts.

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BL2441 .N23 2003 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Writing in an easy to read narrative literary style while respecting the norms of Egyptological scholarship, the author examines the contradictory opinions of major Egyptologists (and the major loonies), and brings us closer to Egypt's core meaning and influence. Along the way, he illuminates the enchanting, imaginative beauty of the Egyptian saga. Ancient Egypt built a society on a remarkable mixture of the new, the useful and the beautiful, while retaining primitive magic, obscurantism, and the infantile but extraordinarily poetic. Egypt was also one of the most optimistic nations ever founded, inventing optimistic answers to many of man's fundamental questions. Volume I surveys the religious underpinnings of the society, including the founding of the first nation - and the first nation to proclaim its sacred nature. Divine kingship, the holy city and capital city were invented here.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Not since Siegfried Morenz's Egyptian Religion (1973) has such systematic effort on this topic been attempted. An independent scholar with a background in journalism, Najovits has based his book on careful reading and thorough analyses, using all the best scholarship and translations of Egyptian sources, with broader results than Claude Traunecker in The Gods of Egypt (CH, Apr'02). Beginning with the transition out of Neolithic "agro-sedentary society" along the Nile with its need to give expression in writing, architecture, and art, Najovits identifies and compares those religious concepts for which the peculiar, nearly isolated Egyptian landscape with its totemic elements allowed the development of profound metaphors of meaning. He opposes all "loonies of Egyptomania," though readers must await volume 2 to obtain a full narrative of how the contexts discussed in the first volume yield diverse consequences. A list of Web sites enhances a somewhat limited bibliography. The index is much weaker than this study deserves, since this volume could be valuable on many academic levels for those studying the origin and history of religion and of Egypt. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. C. C. Smith emeritus, University of Wisconsin--River Falls