IMHICIHU   13380
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
On Writing an Historical Anthropology of Ancient Palestine
Congreso; European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting, Leipzig 2013; 2013
Institución organizadora:
The present programmatic article deals with an interpretive direction that deserves to be fully taken within the field of Near Eastern and Biblical studies: an anthropological understanding of historical processes in ancient times, with special attention to ancient Palestine or the South Levant. Certainly, this direction is not the only one possible, as the vast amount of mostly textual and/or archaeological studies show. Instead, I shall try to point out the ability this perspective allows for solving problems and grasp a better understanding of the human realities—political, ideological, religious, economic, etc. As it shall be argued, these are the requisites for departing from the historiographical focus on ‘histories of Israel’ and starting a historiographical process where the history of the South Levant/Palestine is at the centre, with Israel and the background of the Old Testament as a section of a greater picture of the region’s past. Indeed, not only must we deal with the ‘hidden histories’ that traditional biblical historiography has neglected or ignored, but it is also necessary to re-address our epistemological questions and our methods: the retrieval of historical pasts must not be dependent anymore on any theological or religious agenda, but instead claim independency from such perspectives. Secular histories of Palestine’s ancient past cannot be dependant anymore on the Bible. The biblical past has to be studied and understood as the product of an ancient intellectual world that, due to multiple historical circumstances, has reached to us. The historicity of this intellectual process of transmition of a religious traditions is to be taken into account by the historian in an awareness of the particular contexts of the production of knowledge, ancient and modern, when dealing with the meanings of the biblical stories and the attempt of understand and reconstruct the historical past of Israel within the history of the ancient South Levant/Palestine.