A professor at Brandon University has written a book exploring the social, political and religious changes in Palestine from the "stone age" to the Persian and Roman eras.
K.L. Noll, chair of BU’s religious studies department, says "Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: A Textbook on History and Religion" is designed for readers who have not previously studied the ancient Near East.
"This book will appeal to anyone interested in the ancient world or religious history," Noll said. "Usually these types of books are written by academics for an academic audience, or they are written to prove or disprove the Bible. My book is for people with no background and genuine curiosity."
This is the second and fully revised edition of the book. The first edition was published in 2001 and has been assigned for university courses in Canada, the United States, England and the Netherlands.
The new edition reflects the latest archaeological findings, adds new material on the religiously diverse environment of ancient Israel, and incorporates new maps, photographs and translations of ancient inscriptions.
"Most textbooks on this topic assume that the students already know the key terms, the geography and the historic background," Noll said, "but often the students do not and as a result they are frustrated.
"I wanted to create a textbook for students who are interested in ancient Palestine but have not yet examined it from an academic point of view."
Noll has taught at BU since 2005, offering courses in theoretical study of religion, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and biblical languages. In addition to "Canaan and Israel in Antiquity," he has written "Faces of David" as well as 20 journal articles and book chapters dealing with ancient religion, ancient Judaism and the earliest Christianity.
Noll earned a PhD from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va., and has taught for several Christian seminaries in the United States. He also taught history at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, then religious studies at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Kentucky.
The 434-page book is published by T&T Clark Bloomsbury, London and New York and is available at the BU bookstore and through online booksellers.