By Mira Morgenstern
Current conflicts in either nationwide and overseas arenas have undermined the typical, natural notion of nationhood as conventionally espoused within the 19th century. Conceiving a country argues that the fashionable knowing of the state as a contested concept—as the fabricated from a fluid and ongoing technique of negotiation open to various livable solutions—is really rooted within the Bible.
This publication attracts realization to the contribution that the Bible makes to political discourse concerning the kingdom. The Bible is especially compatible to this open-ended discourse as a result of its personal nature as a textual content whose ambiguity and laconic caliber render it regularly open to new interpretations and appropriate to altering situations. The Bible deals a pluralistic knowing of alternative versions of political improvement for various international locations, and it depicts changing strategies of nationwide id over the years.
In this ebook, Morgenstern reads the Bible because the resource of a dynamic critique of the guidelines which are conventionally thought of to be basic to nationwide id, treating in successive chapters the ethnic (Ruth), the cultural (Samson), the political (Jotham), and the territorial (Esther). all through, she explores a few universal topics, akin to the connection of girls to political authority and the “strangeness” of Israelite political life. within the end, she elucidates how biblical research can relief in reputation of contemporary claims to nationhood.
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Additional resources for Conceiving a Nation: The Development of Political Discourse in the Hebrew Bible
179. 55. Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative, 177. 56. Sternberg, The Poetics of Biblical Narrative, 326. 57. Cf. Susan Handelman’s discussion of the “Oven of Achnai,” a Talmudic incident that revolves precisely around this point. The Slayers of Moses, 40–42. 58. The implications of the development of the Children of Israel into the People of the Book is taken up later in the Book of Esther, when Esther establishes a new sense of community based on communal practice and the shared activity of textual interpretation.
21 Sensitive to the subtle nuances of the language utilized by the text, the Midrash points out that in fact Pharaoh’s advisors and magicians do proffer their own interpretations of these dreams. 22 Similarly, the seven full stalks of grain represent seven kingdoms that Pharaoh 20. Cf. Ohr haHayim on Gen. ” 21. “V’ein poter otam l’Phar’o/and no one could explain them [the dreams] to Pharaoh” (Gen. 41:8; emphasis mine). 22. How disconcerting to remark that the bovine imagery of womankind has its roots so far back in the ancient world!
Closing the Book One question remains to be answered: does Joseph succeed in his enterprise? 53 On one level—the personal—Joseph seems to fail: the Biblical text recounts that upon returning from Jacob’s interment in Canaan, Joseph’s brothers send him a message purporting to be from Jacob (speaking before his death), urging Joseph to forgive his brothers. The brothers subsequently offer to be Joseph’s slaves in perpetuity (Gen. 50:17–18). In view of his previous efforts to reconstruct the past so as to enable all of Jacob’s sons Alon ConWno expands on the theme of “imagined community” to depict the development of nationalist feeling in modern Germany (1871–1918) as an extension of the people’s (particularly the middle class’s) material quotidian experience.