The Invention of Ancient Israel

The Invention of Ancient Israel : The Silencing of Palestinian History

By (author) Keith W. Whitelam

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The Invention of Ancient Israel shows how the history of ancient Palestine has been obscured by the search for Israel. Keith W. Whitelam argues that ancient Israel has been invented by scholars in the image of a European nation state. He explores the theological and political assumptions which have shaped research into ancient Israel by Biblical scholars, and contributed to the vast network of scholarship which Said identified as 'Orientalist discourse'. Keith W. Whitelam's groundbreaking study argues that Biblical scholars, through their traditional view of this region, have contributed to dispossession of both a Palestinian land and a Palestinian past. This is important reading for historians, biblical specialists, social anthropologists and all those who are interested in the history of ancient Israel and Palestine.

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  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 132.08 x 215.9 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • 01 Sep 1997
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0415107598
  • 9780415107594
  • 711,540

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Author Information

Keith W. Whitelam is Professor of Religious Studies and Head of Department at the University of Stirling. He is the co-author of The Emergence of Early Israel in Historical Perspective (1987), and has produced a series of articles on ancient Israelite and Palestinian history.

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Review quote

""The Invention of Ancient Israel is a remarkable work of scholarship, certainly audacious enough, despite its painstaking manner, to undermine many unthinking presuppositions about ancient biblical history . . . the book possesses that keen independence of spirit and vision that is so rare and so invigorating when one encounters it."-Edward Said, "The Times Literary Supplement "This is a brave, fascinating and important book."---Sunday Times ..." fascinating ... This is a timely, pioneering study ... ... author is to be congratulated for producing an extremely provocative and, for the most part, faithful mirror in which the discipline of biblical studies may behold its unflattering reflection."-"Journal of Biblical Literature

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