Religious Knowledge and Religious Specialists in the Ancient Near East from the Perspective of Collective Intelligence
Collective intelligence refers to the collective ability that many gain through competition and collaboration. Recently, collective intelligence is exerting great power in the political, diplomatic, and economic fields through the Internet or SNS. The capabilities of these groups are developing in the form of shared knowledge. Wikipedia, Naver intellectuals, and YouTube's lectures and informational videos have largely replaced the roles played by encyclopedias and schools in the past. Therefore, collective intelligence allows more people to share knowledge that only a few intellectuals had for a long time in the past. In this respect, collective intelligence not only contributed to the rapid distribution, accumulation, and development of knowledge, but also contributed to popularizing some special specialized knowledge that was only dealt with in encyclopedias or research institutes.
In this regard, it is necessary to study religious knowledge produced and distributed by religious experts in the Ancient Near East from the point of view of collective intelligence. In the ancient Near East, there was no distribution network of information and knowledge like today's Internet or SNS. However, Babylonians and Assyrians produced and distributed a lot of knowledge and information to effectively govern their vast empires. In this process, religious experts competed and antagonized in order to reflect their knowledge in their field of expertise in policy with the highest priority. However, for the goal of stability of the king and the empire, they cooperated with each other, sometimes merging specialized fields to solve problems that cannot be solved by individual specialized areas. In particular, religious experts worked together to remove the dark clouds over the future of kings and empires and create an alternative future.
The religious knowledge of the Ancient Near East and the religious experts who produced it are, in today's terms, knowledge workers with information technology and higher education. Today, knowledge and knowledge workers are becoming a key group in the labor market. Religious experts in the Ancient Near East were also a core group of the empire. The information they gathered became a major source of support for politics, economy, and culture. Therefore, it shows that the religious knowledge of the Ancient Near East as a collective intelligence is not a simple religious system but a part of the scientific system of the Ancient Near East.