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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.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0054-1
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Aug 4,2011
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 160
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0054-1
$161.00
$96.60

This book explores the role of the Biblical patriarch Abraham in the formation and use of authoritative texts in the Persian and Hellenistic periods.

In July 2009 two research programmes working within the European Association of Biblical Studies made a joint session on the theme Remembering Abraham in the Persian-Hellenistic Period. Its aim was to study 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 various contributions to this book demonstrate how the Persian and Hellenistic writers intended to socialize their readers by constructing shared images of Abraham as a figure of the past: He is variously presented as the proto-Moses; linked to Jerusalem; he is the founder of a non-exclusive Judaism in the 6th-4th centuries BCE; and he is also a figure prepared for martyrdom, thus reflecting the readiness for martyrdom that appeared in Hellenistic and Roman Judaism. The book also explores how allusions to the past function as a memory within the Abraham stories.

The contributors are significant scholars and contributors to the Persian and Hellenistic periods of the Old Testament and Jewish studies. The chapters of this book were originally presented at the EABS 2009 joint session of “Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis” and “Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Periods” (in Lincoln, GB).

This book explores the role of the Biblical patriarch Abraham in the formation and use of authoritative texts in the Persian and Hellenistic periods.

In July 2009 two research programmes working within the European Association of Biblical Studies made a joint session on the theme Remembering Abraham in the Persian-Hellenistic Period. Its aim was to study 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 various contributions to this book demonstrate how the Persian and Hellenistic writers intended to socialize their readers by constructing shared images of Abraham as a figure of the past: He is variously presented as the proto-Moses; linked to Jerusalem; he is the founder of a non-exclusive Judaism in the 6th-4th centuries BCE; and he is also a figure prepared for martyrdom, thus reflecting the readiness for martyrdom that appeared in Hellenistic and Roman Judaism. The book also explores how allusions to the past function as a memory within the Abraham stories.

The contributors are significant scholars and contributors to the Persian and Hellenistic periods of the Old Testament and Jewish studies. The chapters of this book were originally presented at the EABS 2009 joint session of “Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis” and “Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Periods” (in Lincoln, GB).

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Contributor Biography

Pernille Carstens

Director of the research centre Bible and Cultural Memory at University of Copenhagen from 2009. Employment at University of Aarhus 1993-2008 as assistant, associate professor and post doc, Phd. 1997, cand. theol 1993.

Niels Peter Lemche

Philip Davies

Beate Ego

Klaus Baltzer

Thomas Römer

Ehud Ben Zvi

Ehud Ben Zvi is a professor in the Dept. of History & Classics at the University of Alberta. He has authored or (co)-edited about twenty volumes and written numerous essays primarily on ancient Israel, its intellectual history, social memory, historiography, and prophetic books.

Thomas Thompson

Michael Perlt

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Acknowledgements (page 7)
  • Abbreviations (page 9)
  • List of Contributors (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
  • From Moses to Abraham: Jewish Identities in the Second Temple Period (page 17)
    • Cultural Memory in Biblical Studies (page 17)
    • Who Does Abraham Represent? (page 19)
    • Why Remember Abraham? Memories in Conflict (page 24)
    • Bibliography (page 27)
  • The Memory of Abraham in Late Persian/Early Hellenistic Period Yehud (page 29)
    • Introduction (page 29)
    • The Triad Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Related Matters (page 34)
    • Memories of a Token of Possession/Landmarks and Their Meanings Within the General Discourse of the Community (page 47)
    • Abraham and the Nations in the Land: Practical Accommodations and Future Replacement (page 50)
    • Divine Choice, Obedience and Test (page 54)
    • Obedience and Torah (page 58)
    • Circumcision (page 60)
    • Individual and Collective Punishment? (page 61)
    • Abraham, Exile and Return (Mesopotamia, Egypt) (page 63)
    • Remembering the Aram Connection (page 67)
    • Tensions, Minority Reports and Preferences and Dis-preferences (page 68)
    • Preferences and Dis-preferences: The Case of a Substantial Omission (page 73)
    • In Sum (page 76)
  • Remembering Abraham in Pseudo-Philos Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (page 77)
    • 1. Abraham in Pseudo-Philo (page 79)
    • 2. The Historical Background of Pseudo-Philos Abraham Narrative (page 82)
    • 3. Conclusion: Remembering Abraham in Pseudophilo (page 84)
    • Bibliography (page 86)
  • Abraham in the Patriarchal Texts of the Book of Genesis and the Reception of this Tradition in the Book of Isaiah (page 93)
    • I. Proto-Isaiah (page 97)
    • II. Deutero-Isaiah (Isa. 40…55) (page 98)
    • III. Trito-Isaiah (Isaiah 1 and 56-66) (page 99)
    • Bibliography (page 100)
  • Abraham and the Law and the Prophets (page 103)
    • Introduction: The Patriarchs and the Exodus (page 103)
    • Reversal of the Exodus Ideology in Gen. 12:10…20 and Genesis 16 (page 106)
    • Genesis 15 in the Context of the Redaction of the Pentateuch (page 107)
    • The Formation of Genesis 15 (page 108)
    • Genesis 15 as Summary of the Torah (page 111)
    • Abraham, the First King (page 113)
    • Abraham, the First Prophet (page 114)
    • Abraham, the First Moses (page 115)
    • Conclusion (page 117)
  • Memories of Return and the Historicity of the Post-Exilic Period (page 119)
    • Cultural Memory and Intertextual Discourse (page 119)
    • Genesis 2-5 and the Land (page 122)
    • The Destruction of the Innocent and the Irascible Divine (page 123)
    • Shall Not the Judge of All the Earth be Just? (page 127)
    • The Fire Next Time (page 130)
    • An Allegory of Exile and Return (page 131)
    • Memories of Return and Abrahams Wandering (page 135)
    • On the Historicity of the Post-Exilic Period (page 143)
  • Index of Authors (page 147)
  • Index of Biblical References (page 151)
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