Cultural memory is the shared reproduction and recollection of what has been learned and retained, normally treated as “the cultural heritage”. The purpose of this book, the first product of the research program Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis, is to study how memory is inscribed and embodied in biblical culture and its surrounding area. The essays in this volume seek to open new investigations into cultural memory in biblical and cognate studies, and to include a plethora of methods and perspectives such as the relationship between cultural memory approach and post-colonialism, globalism and epistemology.
This book explores the role of the biblical patriarch Abraham in the formation and use of authoritative texts in the Persian and Hellenistic periods. It reflects a conference session in 2009 focusing on Abraham as a figure of cultural memory in the literature of these periods. Cultural memory is the shared reproduction and recalling of what has been learned and retained. It also involves transformation and innovation. As a figure of memory, stories of Abraham served as guidelines for identity-formation and authoritative illustration of behaviour for the emerging Jewish communities.
The papers in this anthology represent the proceedings of the Anthropology and the Bible session from the European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting held in Lincoln, UK (July 2009). The main aim of the session is to foster critical uses of social anthropology for reading biblical scholarship and ancient Near Eastern studies related to the Bible. The papers of this volume reflect all these perspectives and stand as a critical renewal of the uses of anthropology and sociology in biblical scholarship in distinction to social-science approaches.
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