Writing and Re-Writing History by Destruction

Proceedings of the Annual Minerva Center RIAB Conference, Leipzig, 2018. Research on Israel and Aram in Biblical Times III
Edited by Angelika Berlejung, Aren M. Maeir, and Takayoshi M. Oshima

[Durch Zerstörung Geschichte schreiben und neu schreiben. Tagungsband der Jahrestagung des Minerva-Zentrums RIAB, Leipzig, 2018. Research on Israel and Aram in Biblical Times III.]

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This volume presents research on ancient Syria, Mesopotamia, and Israel with a focus on the longue durée of the practice of reshaping the past through the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage in order to shape the present according to current interests.
This volume combines the papers held at the Minerva Center's »Research on Israel and Aram in Biblical Times« conference (Leipzig 2018) on the subject of writing and re-writing history by deliberate destruction in the regions of Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. An international group of scholars studies the subject using a multi-perspective and interdisciplinary approach. Archeological studies, ancient Near Eastern studies, and biblical studies focused on the destruction of ancient sites in Israel and Judah in the 1st millennium BC. The perspective of the defeated Israelites, Jerusalemites, and Judeans is described in detail in the Old Testament and in postbiblical literature and shows that the destructions in the past were a cultural and identity creator of the first magnitude. The longue durée of the practice of reshaping the past through the deliberate destruction of a cultural heritage in order to shape the present according to current interests becomes evident based on the Neo-Assyrian Empire's practice up to the modern era and is demonstrated by the example of the Arabian-Muslim conquest of Aram as well as current Turkish politics.
Survey of contents
Angelika Berlejung/Aren Maeir: Introduction

I. Re-Writing History by Destruction: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah
Amihai Mazar: Destruction Events: Their Identification, Causes, and Aftermath. Some Test Cases – Assaf Kleiman: Living on the Ruins: The Case of Stratum XII/XI at Hazor – Igor Kreimerman: Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar II, and the Residents of Lachish: An Examination of Decision-Making from Conquest to Destruction – Omer Sergi: Rewriting History Through Destruction: The Case of Tel Reḥov and the Hebrew Bible

II. Reflections on Destruction and Loss in Prophetic, Poetic, and Post-Biblical Literature
Bob Becking: Echoes in Time: The Perception of Jehoiachin's Amnesty in Past and Present (2 Kings 25:27–30) – David G. Garber: The Trace of Inter-Generational Trauma in the Composition History of Ezekiel – Friedhelm Hartenstein: The End of Judah and the Persistence of Cosmic Order: Understanding History in the Light of Creation in Psalms and Prophetic Books – Yigal Levin: Persian-Period Jerusalem in the Shadow of Destruction – Hillel Mali: From Ritual to the Story of Ritual: The Influence of the Destruction of the Temple on Ritual Writing of the First Century CE

III. Circumnavigating History: Isaiah's Response to the Temple Destruction
J. Todd Hibbard: Does Isaiah Implicate the Temple in His Pronouncements of Judgment Against Jerusalem? – Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer: Continuity of Worship: The Portrayal of the Temple and Its Cult in Isaiah 40–55 – Clemens Schneider: Destruction and Desert Transformation in Isaiah 43:14–21 – Nathan Macdonald: The Terminology of the Cult in Isaiah 56–66 – Judith Gärtner: »The Dwelling Place of Your Holiness« (Isa 63:15): On the Meaning of Temple Theology in Trito-Isaiah

IV. Re-Writing History by Destruction in Assyria
Natalie N. May: The Destruction of the Assyrian Capitals – Hanspeter Schaudig: »Uprooting«: A Visual Element of Assyrian Imperialistic Propaganda

V. Re-Writing History by Destruction of Heritage
Witold Witakowski: The Arameans/Syriacs During the First Three Centuries of the Muslim Rule – Tessa Hofmann: The Treatment of Christian Denominations in the Republic of Turkey

Angelika Berlejung is Professor for »History and Religion of Israel and its Environment« at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Leipzig, an Extraordinary Professor for Ancient Studies at the University of Stellenbosch/South Africa, a Visiting Full Professor for Biblical Archaeology at Bar Ilan University/Israel, and a Full Member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences.

Aren M. Maeir is a professor of Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University.

Takayoshi M. Oshima is a researcher at the Institute for Old Testament Studies, the Faculty of Theology, of the University of Leipzig, Germany.


The following reviews are known:

In: The Polish Journal of Bibl. Research — 21 (2022), pp. 151–153 (Zdzislaw J. Kapera)
In: Old Testament Abstracts — 46 (2023), p. 635 (Christopher T. Begg)