9. Early Forms of Judaism as a Mixture of Strategies of Cultural Heterogeneity and the Re-embedding of Local Culture in Archaic Globalization
Levantine Entanglements - Cultural Productions, Long-term Changes and Globalizations in the Eastern Mediterranean - Terje Stordalen
Diana V. Edelman [+]
University of Oslo
This chapter is an examination of the development of Judaism from earlier forms of Yahwism in light of J. Jennings (2010) eight trends of Archaic Globalization. In particular, two trends are important for understanding the cultural production of Persian and Achaemenid periods of Judaism, namely cultural heterogeneity and the re-embedding of local culture. The concept at the heart of Judaism, the religious community of Israel, can be characterized in part as a form of cultural heterogeneity, where new ways of living and thinking were generated through interaction with and in resistive reaction to socio-historical circumstances in a globalizing setting. At the same time, it is also the kind of re-embedding in local culture that is done by local elites to reject foreign influence. This involves a re-imagining of the past to meet the needs of the present and the envisioned future. Judaism thus emerges as a voluntary form of community identity that offers members or practitioners positive, supportive, localized networks as well as imperial-wide networks of connectivity that bridge the isolationism of the Levantine corridor and allow links to fellow religionists physically located in Egypt and Babylonia but who had historical roots in the hill country of Judah.