Most of the essays in this volume stem from the special sessions of the Historiography Seminar of the Canadian Society for Biblical Studies, held in the late spring of 2007 (University of Saskatchewan). The papers in these focused sessions dealt with issues of self-identification, community identity, and ethnicity in Judahite and Yehudite historiography. The scholars present addressed a range of issues, such as the understanding, presentation, and delimitation of “Israel” in various biblical texts, the relationship of Israelites to Judahites in Judean historical writings, the definition of Israel over against other peoples, and the possible reasons why the ethnoreligious community (“Israel”) was the focus of Judahite/Yehudite historiography. Papers approached these matters from a variety of theoretical and disciplinary vantage points. For example, some pursued an inner-biblical perspective (pentateuchal sources/writings, Former Prophets, Latter Prophets, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah), while others pursued a cross-cultural comparative perspective (ancient Near Eastern, ancient Greek and Hellenistic historiographies, Western and non-Western historiographic traditions). Still others attempted to relate the material remains to the question of community identity in northern Israel, monarchic Judah, and postmonarchic Yehud.
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