Panel B: Scriptures - Ideology, Practices and Community; Introduction to Panel B
Terje Stordalen [+]
University of Oslo
Panel B takes up an insight generated in chapter 4, namely that ideology—for instance in the form of local tradition or place-related social doxa—is among the factors that may contribute the most to conditioning the lasting success (or failure) of the local implementation of social change generated through trans-local connections. The ensuing three studies, all by scholars of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, are mining the biblical (and adjacent) record(s) to display various aspects of this role of religious ideology and different ways that ideologies may interact with state levels and local communities. The two first contributions study the biblical record as a source for reflections of political aspirations or processes at the time of the composition of the record. The last contribution expands the view and attends to political implications and intentions in using the biblical writings themselves—first at the time of their composition and then in the ensuing periods—during which the compositions were gradually incorporated into a (slowly changing) cultural paradigm of cultural scriptural canonicity. In chapter 8, Kåre Berge applies Abner Cohen's notion of informal social and political organization to a reading of the notion of “Israel” in the biblical book of Deuteronomy. In chapter 9, Diana Edelman explores biblical literature from the Persian and Achaemenid periods in light of J. Jennings work on early globalizations, especially focusing on reflections of cultural heterogeneity and the re-embedding of local culture. In the following chapter, Terje Stordalen explores the production of authority in early Hebrew canons, also defining the analytical concepts of canonical ecology and cultural paradigms as a means to narrate the story of culturally canonical scriptural collections from Early Egypt up to the present time.