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Look Inside The Myth of the Twelve Tribes of Israel
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The Myth of the Twelve Tribes of Israel
New Identities Across Time and Space

$99.99 (F)

  • Date Published: March 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781316514948

$ 99.99 (F)

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About the Authors
  • The Myth of the Twelve Tribes of Israel is the first study to treat the history of claims to an Israelite identity as an ongoing historical phenomenon from biblical times to the present. By treating the Hebrew Bible's accounts of Israel as one of many efforts to construct an Israelite history, rather than source material for later legends, Andrew Tobolowsky brings a long-term comparative approach to biblical and nonbiblical “Israelite” histories. In the process, he sheds new light on how the structure of the twelve tribes tradition enables the creation of so many different visions of Israel, and generates new questions: How can we explain the enduring power of the myth of the twelve tribes of Israel? How does “becoming Israel” work, why has it proven so popular, and how did it change over time? Finally, what can the changing shape of Israel itself reveal about those who claimed it?

    • Reveals a continuous and ongoing historical phenomenon of long duration, the efforts to claim an Israelite identity and history
    • Employs a uniquely long-term comparative approach to biblical and nonbiblical accounts of the same tradition
    • Tells the fascinating stories of peoples around the world who have “become Israel”
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2022
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781316514948
    • length: 350 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.589kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Judah's Israels: The twelve tribes of Israel in the Hebrew Bible
    2. The tribes that were not lost: The Samaritans
    3. Across the River Sambatyon: The lost tribes of Israel in medieval legends
    4. Becoming Israel in America: The Mormons and the new Jerusalem
    5. A lost tribe returns: The beta Israel in Ethiopia and Israel.

  • Author

    Andrew Tobolowsky, College of William and Mary, Virginia
    Andrew Tobolowsky is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. An acknowledged expert on the tradition and on Israelite history, he is the author of The Sons of Jacob and the Sons of Herakles (2017),and numerous articles on the history of the twelve tribes of Israel tradition and the value of thinking through cross-cultural comparisons.

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