Philosophy and Practice in Writing a History of Ancient Israel
Moore, Megan Bishop
New York: T&T Clark, 2006 pp. x + 205. $115.00
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 435
Description: Philosophy and Practice in Writing a History of Ancient Israel elucidates and examines assumptions about history writing that current historians of ancient Israel and Judah employ. It is undertaken in the context of the conflict between so-called “minimalists” and “maximalists” within the discipline today. Though the use of the Bible as evidence is the focal point of the opposition of these two approaches, Moore shows that a number of related philosophical and practical concerns are telescoped in this issue, including concepts of Empiricism, Objectivity, Representation and Language, Subject, Explanation, Truth, and Evidence Evaluation and Use. Organized around these topics, Philosophy and Practice aims to situate the study of ancient Israel and Judah in the broader intellectual context of academic history in general and to provide insight into the formative assumptions of the current debate. It also aims to show that the central issue of the reliability of the Bible as evidence is surrounded by related issues that are equally important for understanding the past of ancient Israel and Judah and writing about it. Moore shows that ideas about objectivity in particular have a direct bearing on the evidentiary debate, which, in turn, affects what subjects and modes of explanations historians see as available to them. Moore argues that current historians of ancient Israel are beginning to work with a notion of historical truth that attempts to take into account the many contingencies for the concept and writing of history that twentieth-century discussions about history have introduced.
Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel
Review by Ernst Axel Knauf
Citation: Ernst Axel Knauf, review of Megan Moore, Philosophy and Practice in Writing a History of Ancient Israel, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2007).
Review by Ralph K. Hawkins
Citation: Ralph K. Hawkins, review of Megan Bishop Moore, Philosophy and Practice in Writing a History of Ancient Israel, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).
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