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By Mira Morgenstern

Current conflicts in either nationwide and foreign arenas have undermined the traditional, natural inspiration of nationhood as conventionally espoused within the 19th century. Conceiving a state argues that the trendy figuring out of the country as a contested concept—as the made of a fluid and ongoing means of negotiation open to various livable solutions—is truly rooted within the Bible.

This e-book attracts consciousness to the contribution that the Bible makes to political discourse in regards to the kingdom. The Bible is especially well matched to this open-ended discourse due to its personal nature as a textual content whose ambiguity and laconic caliber render it regularly open to new interpretations and acceptable to altering situations. The Bible deals a pluralistic knowing of alternative versions of political improvement for various international locations, and it depicts changing ideas of nationwide id through the years.

In this ebook, Morgenstern reads the Bible because the resource of a dynamic critique of the tips which are conventionally thought of to be basic to nationwide identification, treating in successive chapters the ethnic (Ruth), the cultural (Samson), the political (Jotham), and the territorial (Esther). all through, she explores a couple of universal topics, corresponding to the connection of ladies to political authority and the “strangeness” of Israelite political life. within the end, she elucidates how biblical research can relief in reputation of recent claims to nationhood.

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Extra resources for Conceiving a Nation: The Development of Political Discourse in the Hebrew Bible

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41:37), even though, as Wildavsky points out, by this suggestion Joseph may well have prepared the way for a more diabolical Pharaoh to organize state-sponsored oppression of the Israelites. Aaron Wildavsky, “What Is to Be Done so That This People May Survive: Joseph the Administrator,” PS (December 1989): 779–99. 24 conceiving a nation storage and centralized economic planning. 25 Rather, in interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, the Biblical text utilizes the term “pitaron,” which actually means solution to a problem.

Robert Alter expresses a similar sense in The Art of Biblical Narrative: “It is really the Wrst of three climactic dialogues . . about their shared past and the nature of their fraternal bond” (164). 29. Cf. in this regard White’s comments in Narration and Discourse, 268–69. 30. Cf. Gen. 37:24: “And they threw him into the pit/va’yashlikhu oto habora”; and Gen. ” 31. Sternberg, The Poetics of Biblical Narrative, 288. The verse referred to is Gen. ” 26 conceiving a nation himself had occupied the position of younger son in his family of origin— is likewise the object of murderous hatred.

But how is this related to the larger enterprise within Genesis: the formation of a nation? The answer begins to become apparent in the masked encounters that Joseph stages with his brothers. 27 Joseph has a dual aim in setting up the stylized 25. The root “b’a’r” is in fact utilized in the Pentateuch to depict a full interpretation, as in Deut. ” 26. Sternberg, The Poetics of Biblical Narrative, 288. 27. To this end, Joseph keeps only one brother in prison (Simeon, who in Midrashic tradition is identiWed as the brother who had actually pushed Joseph into the pit; cf.

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