Publisher:Oxford University Press
Kingship and Memory in Ancient Judah addresses the question of how a postmonarchic society would remember and imagine its monarchy, and kingship in general, as part of its past, present, and future. How did Judeans of the early Second Temple period conceive of the monarchy? By way of a thorough analysis of Judean discourse in this era, Ian D. Wilson argues that ancient Judeans had no single way of remembering and imagining kingship. In fact, their memory and imaginary was thoroughly multivocal, and necessarily so. Judean historiographical literature evinces a mindset that was unsure of the monarchic past and how to understand it-multiple viewpoints were embraced and brought into conversation with one another. Similarly, prophetic literature, which drew on the discursive themes of the remembered past, envisions a variety of outcomes for kingship's future. Historiographical and prophetic literature thus existed in a kind of feedback loop, enabling, informing, and balancing each other's various understandings of kingship as part of Judean society and life. Through his investigation of kingship in Judean discourse, Wilson contributes to our knowledge of literature and literary culture in ancient Judah and also makes a significant contribution to questions of history and historiographical method in biblical studies.