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Community Identity in Judean Historiography
Biblical and Comparative Perspectives
Edited by Gary N. Knoppers and Kenneth A. Ristau
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Most of the essays in this volume stem from the special sessions of the Historiography Seminar of the Canadian Society for Biblical Studies, held in the late spring of 2007 (University of Saskatchewan). The papers in these focused sessions dealt with issues of self-identification, community identity, and ethnicity in Judahite and Yehudite historiography. The scholars present addressed a range of issues, such as the understanding, presentation, and delimitation of "Israel" in various biblical texts, the relationship of Israelites to Judahites in Judean historical writings, the definition of Israel over against other peoples, and the possible reasons why the ethnoreligious community ("Israel") was the focus of Judahite/Yehudite historiography. Papers approached these matters from a variety of theoretical and disciplinary vantage points. For example, some pursued an inner-biblical perspective (pentateuchal sources/writings, Former Prophets, Latter Prophets, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah), while others pursued a cross-cultural comparative perspective (ancient Near Eastern, ancient Greek and Hellenistic historiographies, Western and non-Western historiographic traditions). Still others attempted to relate the material remains to the question of community identity in northern Israel, monarchic Judah, and postmonarchic Yehud.
Publication date: 2009
Bibliographic info: x + 286 pages
Trim Size: 6 x 9 inches
" This beautiful book displays a great variety of approaches, methods, texts, and results, which makes it valuable. The construction of a community’s identity is a complex affair having to do with religion and rites, with language and political
organization, and not least with the construction of “the other.” In one way or the other, the contributions in this volume prove that historiography also plays a crucial role in the formation of identity. Narratives and texts highly influence the self-identity of Israel’s postexilic community. "—Rainer Kessler, University of Marburg in Review of Biblical Literature, March 2010
"All eleven essays are well-written and footnoted, use data judiciously, and present coherent arguments. Readers interested in the formation of identity—and especially during the postexilic period—will do well to not ignore any of these essays in their research on the topic, regardless of the text or period being studied."—Steven J. Schweitzer, Bethany Theological Seminary in Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, Volume 11 (2011).
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