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A Short History Of The Waters Above The Firmament

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Chapter Summary

This paper assumes an extra-biblical Near Eastern background for this element of the biblical account of creation, and thus the specific debt of &t;P,&t; the &t;Priestly&t; author of the Book of Genesis, and follows the history of the cosmic waters &t;above the firmament&t; to later formulations in the cosmologies of mediaeval European natural philosophy. The authors purpose is to draw attention to the supracelestial waters as a literary motif and a cosmological conception that joins ancient Near Eastern creation mythology and cosmology to later Christian and European cosmo-gonic and cosmological ideas. If we conclude that the battle between Marduk and Tiamat described in Enuma Elis is between the elements of forces in nature, it is well known from elsewhere in the Ancient Near East. Only the briefest outline of the history of the waters above the firmament in Western cosmology has been presented within the limited scope of this paper.

Keywords: Christian; cosmo-gonic ideas; cosmologies; Marduk; mediaeval European; natural philosophy; Near Eastern; Short History; Tiamat; Waters Above The Firmament



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