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Book: Leadership, Social Memory and Judean Discourse in the Fifth - Second Centuries BCE

Chapter: Introduction

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.26802


The theme of leadership played an important role in ancient Israel and its discourse. It was explored time and again through memories of proper, improper and in-between leaders and through memories of particular institutions like monarchy, priesthood, and prophethood. The ways in which this theme was shaped, reflected, and above all explored through social memory and how, in turn, those memories played a socializing role within the community is the focus of this collection of seventeen essays, which grew out of the 2013 research program of the group, Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Periods of the European Association of Biblical Studies. The editors were co-chairs of the research group from 2005–2013. Additional papers were invited on selected topics in order to round out the collection and further internal dialogue among the contributions. Although, as anticipated, the nature and limitations of kingship, both native and foreign, is a central theme of many of the essays, the volume includes discussions of both official and unofficial local leadership within an empire setting, alternatives to royal leadership like theocracy, charismatic judgeship, and Greek-style tyrants, as well as considerations of Greek political discourse on the best type of leadership. Authors include the following biblical scholars or historians of ancient Israel: Ehud Ben Zvi, Kåre Berge, Thomas M. Bolin James Bos, Lorenzo DiTomasso, Diana Edelman, Beate Ego, Anne Fitzpatrick-McKinley, Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher, Reinhard Müller, Christophe Nihan, Wolfgang Oswald, Anne-Mareike Schol-Wetter, Ian D. Wilson. In addition, there are two contributions from the Stuyvesant P. Comfort Professor of Law at New York University, Geoffrey Parsons Miller, and from a well-known classicist, Lynette Mitchell.

Chapter Contributors

  • Diana Edelman ( - dedelman) 'University of Oslo'