The topic of the project is an analysis of the biblical accounts on ritual performances in the context of internal and external political conflicts (Gen 21:22-34; 2 Sam 3:33-38; 18:1-5; 19:6-9; 21:1-14; 1 Kgs 11:1-20; 20,30b-34; 2 Kgs 9:30-37; 10,1-11). These texts evince the eminent importance of ritual strategies in the settlement of internal and external conflicts or in cases were power has become precarious. Important questions of resarch are the socio-religious functions of rituals in the settlement of conflicts, the place of rituals in the representation of royal power, the establishment and maintenance of power, the confirmation of social hierarchies and the question of the modus operandi of rituals in the Hebrew Bible and its Ancient Near Eastern environment.
Research on the functions and meaning of rituals in the Hebrew Bible is a desideratum in biblical studies.An analysis of the relevant biblical texts will elaborate how the deuteronomistic authors - or their sources respectivly - have conceptualized ritual acts in situations when power has become precarious, or demands legitimation, as in cases of the changed status of an usurper. The the textual and historical analysis will also incorporate insights from archaeololgy and iconography as well as from the Ancient Near Eastern ritual traditions. Nevertheless the biblical traditions in most cases do not reflect actual ritual performances it seems possible to reconstruct contexts and patterns, thus giving insights into the conections between religion and politics in the 1st Millenium B.C.C.