I’ve pleased to have received the page proofs for two articles that will be included in an upcoming edited volume that should be published next year, in time for everyone to buy it at SBL Atlanta next November.
Christoph Levin and Ehud Ben Zvi (eds.)
Concept of Exile in Ancient Israel and its Contexts
(Berlin: Walter De Gruyter)
The volume is the result of fascinated pair of workshops held at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (in Spring 2008) and Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (June 2009). If I understand correctly, the two institutions have some kind idea-sharing arrangement that Ehud and Christoph took advantage of to get a bunch of people together and sort through issue of the exile in biblical literature.
Here is the blurb for the workshops, reproduced from the U. of Alberta’s site.
This workshop brings together scholars from the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich (LMU) and the University of Alberta, along with colleagues from other European and Canadian universities. This workshop is part of a newly founded cooperation between LMU and the UofA and is conceived as the first of two workshops. The second is planned for Munich (2009).
The workshop is meant to explore, from multiple perspectives, the concept of “Exile” in ancient Israel, mainly but exclusively in prophetic literature, including the social and historical setting against which it evolved and in a way that is informed by comparative ancient materials.
The link above also has nice introduction to the biblical idea of “exile” as a product of historical deportations.
I’m not exactly sure if every paper from with two workshops will appear in the volume, but I suspect that all but a few will be.
Hindy Najman (Toronto) Revelation in Exile
Martti Nissinen (Helsinki) The Exiled Gods of Babylon in Neo-Assyrian Prophecy
Willi Braun (Alberta) Imagining Exile: Early Christian Uses of a Familiar Concept
Christoph Levin (LMU) The Empty Land in Kings
Hermann-Josef Stipp (LMU) The Concept of the Empty Land in the Book of Jeremiah
Ehud Ben Zvi (Alberta) The Voice and Role of a Counterfactual Memory in the Construction of Exile and Return: Considering Jer 40:7-12
James R. Linville (Lethbridge) Myth of the Exilic Return: Myth Theory and the Exile as an Eternal Reality in the Prophets
Jan Christian Gertz (U. of Heidelberg) From a Military Threat to the Concept of Exile in the Book of Amos
Selina Stewart (Alberta) Sive deus, sive dea: Prophecy, ritual and exilic gods from Babylon to Rome
Reinhard Müller (LMU) Images of Exile in the Book of Judge
Francis Landy(Alberta) Exile in the Book of Isaiah
Ehud Ben Zv (Alberta) Exile in the Book of Chronicles
Eckart Otto (LMU) Deuteronomistic Redactions of the Book of Deuteronomy in the Exilic Period
Jan Christian Gertz (Heidelberg) Does the Primeval History Reflect on the Exile?
Jakob Wöhrle (WestfälischeWilhelms-Universität Münster) The Un-Empty Land. The Concept of Exile and Land in P
Hermann-Josef Stipp (LMU) The Original Function of the Concept of the Empty Land in the Book of Jeremiah
Paul G. Mosca (U. of British Columbia) Job and Second Isaiah: Two Faces of Exile
Juha Pakkala (Helsinki) The Concept of Exile and its Development in the Ezra Tradition
Reinhard Müller (LMU) Exile and the Empty Land in the Holiness Code (Lev. 26)
James Linville (Lethbridge) Playing with Maps of Exile: Displacement, Utopia, and Disjunction
Francis Landy (Edmonton) Reading, Writing, and Exile
Hindy Najman (Toronto) The First and Second Destruction in the Late Ancient Jewish Imagination
Kirsi Valkama (Helsinki) Judah in the Mid-Sixth Century BCE. Archaeological Remains
Christoph Levin (LMU) What do we really know about Jerusalem’s conquest and the exile?
The whole affair was a wonderful experience (both times) and I really enjoyed the time in Germany this summer. I saw a mess of alps, drank a lot of good beer, ate a lot of good food, and met some really good people. There were a lot of great papers and a wide variety of approaches, from source critical, archaeological and historical to Francis’ wonderful musings on poetry, exile and death in Isaiah. I think mine sort of stood out like sort thumbs. I’m getting used to it…
My 2008 paper, “Myth of the Exilic Return: Myth Theory and the Exile as an Eternal Reality in the Prophets” was a lot of fun to write. Doing a paper in Edmonton is always great for me since it is where I started my university career under Francis and Ehud. I sort of when back to my general Religious Studies roots and mused on the exile, creation, and competing mythologies of exile and restoration in the shadow of Eliade, J. Z. Smith and Wendy Doniger. I drew some examples from Genesis, Isaiah, and Amos.
In 2009 I stuck to Isaiah 40-55 and got a little strange. “Playing with Maps of Exile: Displacement, Utopia and Disjunction” returns to J. Z. Smith and looks at Second Isaiah as exploring the disjunctions between attempts to assimilate Cyrus to traditional mythical concepts and the need to reaffirm a ‘locative’ cosmic map for which Cyrus cannot assume the role of founder. For that, Second Isaiah juxtaposes Cyrus with the “Servant”. Informing this study is a comparison with various cargo-cult phenomena (again taking a cue from Smith), and finding within in a deep resistance to Persia, even if its imperial ambitions have to be accounted for and assimilated.