Dalit Rom-Shiloni

Forced/Involuntary Migration, Diaspora Studies, and More

Notes on Methodologies

Volume 7 () / Issue 3, pp. 376-398 (23)
Published 04.03.2019

16,10 € including VAT
article PDF
This paper serves as a threefold response to this issue's four highly interesting studies. First, I count the valuable gains of each paper in employing diverse sociological and psychological methodologies to the study of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Second, following Strine's call to »disarticulate the experience of 'exile',« I suggest eight points that to a different extent are addressed in biblical sources concerning dislocation and relocation. To the great benefit of this collection, except for one point over gapped in the Hebrew Bible itself, these studies have addressed all eight points. Finally, the response raises some methodological challenges for further scholarly consideration, asking to what extent could different social-scientific methodologies serve biblical scholars in reconstructing the long list of lacunae in our literary sources concerning different experiences of forced-migration and relocation by the early sixth century b.c.e.? Since each of the papers address issues that the biblical sources at hand and even extrabiblical sources barely reveal, I argue that as tempting and appealing as the modern analogies are, the lines between plausible social reconstruction, literary complexity, and imagined realities at times bring us beyond what I would judge to be the legitimate range of our interpretive imaginations.

Dalit Rom-Shiloni is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Department of Biblical Studies, Tel Aviv University.