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Kingship and Memory in Ancient Judah
Wilson, Ian D.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017 pp. x + 308. $99.00


Description: The book addresses the question of how postmonarchic society in ancient Judah remembered and imagined its monarchy, and kingship in general, as part of its past, present, and future. How did Judeans of the early Second Temple period conceive of the monarchy? By way of a thorough analysis of Judean discourse in this era, Kingship and Memory in Ancient Judah argues that ancient Judeans had no single way of remembering and imagining kingship. In fact, their memory and imaginary were thoroughly multivocal, and necessarily so. Judean historiographical literature evinces a mindset that was unsure of the monarchic past and how to understand it--multiple viewpoints were embraced and brought into conversation with one another. Similarly, prophetic literature, which drew on the discursive themes of the remembered past, envisions a variety of outcomes for kingship's future. Historiographical and prophetic literature thus existed in a kind of feedback loop, enabling, informing, and balancing each other's various understandings of kingship as part of Judean society and life. Through its investigation of kingship in Judean discourse, this monograph contributes to our knowledge of literature and literary culture in ancient Judah and also makes a significant contribution to questions of history and historiographical method in biblical studies.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel

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Review by Jason Silverman
Published 4/12/2018
Citation: Jason Silverman, review of Ian D. Wilson, Kingship and Memory in Ancient Judah, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).


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