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War, Memory, and National Identity in the Hebrew Bible
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Book description

The Hebrew Bible is permeated with depictions of military conflicts that have profoundly shaped the way many think about war. Why does war occupy so much space in the Bible? In this book, Jacob Wright offers a fresh and fascinating response to this question: War pervades the Bible not because ancient Israel was governed by religious factors (such as 'holy war') or because this people, along with its neighbors in the ancient Near East, was especially bellicose. The reason is rather that the Bible is fundamentally a project of constructing a new national identity for Israel, one that can both transcend deep divisions within the population and withstand military conquest by imperial armies. Drawing on the intriguing interdisciplinary research on war commemoration, Wright shows how biblical authors, like the architects of national identities from more recent times, constructed a new and influential notion of peoplehood in direct relation to memories of war, both real and imagined. This book is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.


‘The book is a welcome follow-up to the author’s previous volume (David, King of Israel, and Caleb in Biblical Memory) [Cambridge, 2014] … The highlight of the work, however, is its thoroughgoing interdisciplinary character. Wright has provided an exemplar of the interdisciplinary study that should mark today’s engagements with biblical warfare texts. This interdisciplinarity includes engagement with political theory and philosophy, sociology, anthropology, classical Greek literature, and international law. Readers of this monograph will find both a compelling technical approach to specific biblical texts and an invitation to a broader social and cultural conversation much needed in our time.’

Brad E. Kelle Source: Society Of Biblical Literature

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Full book PDF

Page 1 of 2

  • War, Memory, and National Identity in the Hebrew Bible
    pp i-ii
  • War, Memory, and National Identity in the Hebrew Bible - Title page
    pp iii-iii
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-iv
  • Dedication
    pp v-vi
  • Contents
    pp vii-x
  • Preface
    pp xi-xii
  • Introduction
    pp 1-16
  • Wellhausen, War, and the Creation of a Nation
  • Part I - Refugee Memories: Negotiating Relations and Borders with Neighboring States
    pp 17-48
  • 1 - Passages to Peace
    pp 19-36
  • 2 - Edom as Israel’s Other
    pp 37-48
  • Part II - Kinship and Commandment: The Transjordanian Tribes and the Conquest of Canaan
    pp 49-106
  • 3 - Mapping the Promised Land
    pp 51-61
  • 4 - The Nation’s Transjordanian Vanguard
    pp 62-78
  • 5 - A Nation Beyond Its Borders
    pp 79-93
  • 6 - Kinship, Law, and Narrative
    pp 94-106
  • Part III - Rahab: An Archetypal Outsider
    pp 107-166
  • 7 - Between Faith and Works
    pp 111-128
  • 8 - The Composition of the Rahab Story
    pp 129-147
  • 9 - Rahab’s Courage and the Gibeonites’ Cowardice
    pp 148-166
  • Part IV - Deborah: Mother of a Voluntary Nation
    pp 167-252
  • 10 - A Prophet and Her General
    pp 169-181
  • 11 - A Poetic War Monument
    pp 182-193
  • 12 - A National Anthem for the North
    pp 194-209
  • 13 - Women and War Commemoration
    pp 210-221
  • 14 - Jael’s Identities
    pp 222-236
  • Conclusions
    pp 237-252
  • A Movable Monument and a Portable Homeland
  • Bibliography
    pp 253-268
  • Index of Authors’ Names
    pp 269-272
  • Index of Biblical References
    pp 273-277
  • Index of Literary References
    pp 278-279

Page 1 of 2


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