Memory in a Time of Prose: Studies in Epistemology, Hebrew Scribalism, and the Biblical Past (Hardback)Daniel Pioske (author)
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 20/09/2018
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Memory in a Time of Prose investigates a deceptively straightforward question: what did the biblical scribes know about a past that consumed so many of their writings? Daniel D. Pioske attempts to answer this question by studying the sources, limits, and conditions of knowing that would have shaped biblical stories told about a time that preceded the composition of these writings by a generation or more. This book is comprised of a series of case studies that compare biblical references to an early Iron Age world (ca. 1175-830 BCE) with a wide range of archaeological and historical evidence from the era in which these stories are set. Pioske examines the relationship between the past disclosed through these historical traces and the past represented within the biblical narrative. He discovers that the biblical scribes drew the knowledge of the past that they used to create their prose narratives from memory and word of mouth, rather than from a corpus of older narrative documents. For those Hebrew scribes who first set down these stories in prose writing, the means for knowing a past and the significance attached to it were primarily wed to the faculty of memory. Memory in a Time of Prose reveals how the past was preserved, transformed, or forgotten in the ancient world of oral, living speech that informed biblical storytelling.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 542 g
Dimensions: 237 x 163 x 26 mm
"Daniel Pioske's Memory in a Time of Prose thoughtfully uses archaeology and inscriptions to explore the shifting contours of scribal recollections of David and the Philistines. Often fresh and insightful, this book is a must-read in the current discussion of scribalism in ancient Israel."--Mark S. Smith, author of Where the Gods Are: Spatial Dimensions of Anthropomorphism in the Biblical World
"In this volume, Daniel Pioske brings a wide range of ancient sources into conversation with contemporary studies of cultural memory, producing a volume of great importance. Memory in a Time of Prose challenges its readers to step away from common scholarly axioms regarding the contents of the biblical record and consider a far more complex interaction between scribes and the intellectual mechanisms through which the past was made accessible and meaningful in the texts they produced. This is a remarkable scholarly achievement."--Mark Leuchter, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism, Temple University
"In smart yet readable prose, Daniel Pioske demonstrates that biblical history in Samuel and the period of King David do not so much have solid footing as demand fancy footwork. Separating the emergence of prose historical writing from the formative period portrayed in it, he then bridges the centuries with the slippery 'memory of place, ' which, on the bedrock of Israelite archaeology and like Greek historiography, is alternately 'resilient, ' 'entangled, ' or 'forgetful.'"--Simeon Chavel, author of Oracular Law and Priestly Historiography in the Torah
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