The Politics of Israelís Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building
Pfoh, Emanuel and Keith W. Whitelam, editors
Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2013 pp. xviii + 249. $95
The Social World of Biblical Antiquity, Second Series, 8
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Description: It is not uncommon that historical imagesópresented as simply given, self-evident and even indisputableóare employed in political readings of the past and used as a legitimizing tool. For that reason, the authors of this volume, biblical scholars, archaeologists, anthropologists and historians, undertake a deconstruction of modern biblical discourses on the Bibleís production and the history of ancient Israel, enabling the exploration of critical approaches to ancient Palestineís past, to the history of the peoples of the region, to the history of the biblical text(s) and, last but not least, to the modern political uses of biblical narratives as legitimizing land ownership and nationalisms. Among the topics treated are the appearance of Judaism and its connection to the production of biblical literature, the politics of archaeological practice in Israel, the role of archaeology in the production of nationalist narratives of the past, the relationship between genetic studies and Jewish nationalism, and the prospects for writing critical histories of ancient Palestine beyond biblical images and religious and political aspirations. Each article illustrates the close relationship between the Bible, archaeology and processes of nation-building in the State of Israel. The Politics of Israelís Past concerns itself both with the ways in which contemporary politics affects the knowledge of the past and with the processes by which constructions of an ancient past legitimate modern political situations.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel, Archaeology
Review by Pekka Pitkanen
Citation: Pekka Pitkanen, review of Emanuel Pfoh and Keith W. Whitelam, eds., The Politics of Israelís Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).
Review by Mark Leuchter
Citation: Mark Leuchter, review of Emanuel Pfoh and Keith W. Whitelam, eds., The Politics of Israelís Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).
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