Historiography and Identity (Re)Formulation in Second Temple Historiographical Literature

Overview

It is commonly accepted in various disciplines and contexts that history writing often (if not always!) contribute to the process of identity (re)formation. Using the past in order to find a renewed identity in new (socio-political and socio-religious) circumstances, is something that we also witness in Hebrew Bible historiographies. The so-called Deuteronomistic History, as well as the works of Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah, are often read from the perspective of a community ...

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Overview

It is commonly accepted in various disciplines and contexts that history writing often (if not always!) contribute to the process of identity (re)formation. Using the past in order to find a renewed identity in new (socio-political and socio-religious) circumstances, is something that we also witness in Hebrew Bible historiographies. The so-called Deuteronomistic History, as well as the works of Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah, are often read from the perspective of a community trying to find a new identity in changed circumstances.

In the Historical Books section at the 2008 Auckland SBL International Meeting, this perspective was investigated further. The papers presented included theoretical reflections on the relationship between historiography and identity (re)formation, as well as illustrations from Hebrew Bible historiographies (of the Exilic and Second Temple periods).  These papers, together with a few responses to the papers, are offered here to a wider scholarly audience.

Contributors include Jon Berquist, Mark Brett, Louis Jonker, Mark Leuchter, Christine Mitchell, Klaas Spronk, Gerrie Snyman, Ray Person, Armin Siedlecki, and Jacob Wright.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Louis Jonker is Associate Professor in the Department of Old and New Testament, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors vii

List of Abbreviations viii

Introduction xi

Part I Deliberations

Identities and Empire: Historiographic Questions for the Deuteronomistic History in the Persian Period Jon L. Berquist 3

The Book of Judges as a Late Construct Klaas Spronk 15

National Identity as Commentary and as Metacommentary Mark G. Brett 29

Coming to Terms with Ezra's Many Identities in Ezra-Nehemiah Mark Leuchter 41

David's Officials According to the Chronicler (1 Chronicles 23-27): A Reflection of Second Temple Self-Categorization? Louis C. Jonker 65

Otherness and Historiography in Chronicles Christine Mitchell 93

Part II Responses

"Identity (Re)formation as the Historical Circumstances Required" Raymond F. Person 113

"Persian Period Studies Have Come of Age" Armin Siedlecki 123

Identity, Powder, and the World of Ancient (Biblical) Text Production Gerrie Snyman 133

"Continuing These Conversations" Jacob L. Wright 149

Index of Biblical References 169

Index of Authors 172

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