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Elements of Ancient Jewish Nationalism

Elements of Ancient Jewish Nationalism

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521862028

$ 103.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Contrary to the widespread view that nationalism is a modern phenomenon, Goodblatt argues that it can be found in the ancient world. He argues that concepts of nationalism compatible with contemporary social scientific theories can be documented in the ancient sources from the Mediterranean Rim by the middle of the last millennium BCE. In particular, the collective identity asserted by the Jews in antiquity fits contemporary definitions of nationalism. After the theoretical discussion in the opening chapter, the author examines several factors constitutive of ancient Jewish nationalism. He shows how this identity was socially constructed by such means as the mass dissemination of biblical literature, retention of the Hebrew language, and through the priestly caste. The author also discusses each of the names used to express Jewish national identity: Israel, Judah and Zion.

    • Detailed treatment of theories of nationalism and ethnicity and their application to the ancient world
    • Explanation of how a national identity could be socially constructed in a pre-modern society
    • Exhaustive treatment of the usage of the names Israel, Judah and Zion
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "David Goodblatt has written a masterful and often engrossing treatment of an all too neglected topic. The book stands as a major contribution not only to our understanding of ancient Jewish nationalism but to the field of nationalism studies as a whole." - Aviel Roshwald, Georgetown University

    "It is satisfying to find a scholarly treatment that brings clarity to thorny topics such as ethnicity and nationalism." - Jewish Book World

    "...(T)his book belongs in the library of every scholar who studies Hebrew literature and the Second Temple period..."
    Honora Howell Chapman, Hebrew Studies Journal

    "David Boodblatt has made an important contribution to the study of Jewish nationalism in the Second Temple period both in the areas of method and information. No doubt the volume will be useful for specialists in Second Temple Judaism as well as the NT." --Joel Willitts, North Park University: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521862028
    • length: 278 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Theoretical considerations: nationalism and ethnicity in antiquity
    2. Constructing Jewish nationalism: the role of scripture
    3. Constructing Jewish nationalism: the Hebrew language
    4. A kingdom of priests: the priestly component in ancient Jewish nationalism
    5. Israel nationalism
    6. Judah nationalism
    7. Zion nationalism
    8. Conclusions: Jewish nationalism - what rose and what fell?

  • Author

    David Goodblatt , University of California, San Diego
    David Goodblatt is Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego where he holds the Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies. Previously he taught for over a decade in the Jewish History Department of the University of Haifa and was the Louis L. Kaplan Professor of Jewish History at the University of Maryland. He is the author of Rabbinic Instruction in Sasanian Babylonia and The Monarchic Principle: Studies in Jewish Self-government in Antiquity.

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