Conceiving a Nation: The Development of Political Discourse by Mira Morgenstern

By Mira Morgenstern

Current conflicts in either nationwide and overseas arenas have undermined the normal, natural thought of nationhood as conventionally espoused within the 19th century. Conceiving a kingdom argues that the fashionable knowing of the state as a contested concept—as the made from a fluid and ongoing strategy of negotiation open to a variety of livable solutions—is really rooted within the Bible.

This booklet attracts consciousness to the contribution that the Bible makes to political discourse in regards to the state. The Bible is especially well matched to this open-ended discourse as a result of its personal nature as a textual content whose ambiguity and laconic caliber render it consistently open to new interpretations and acceptable to altering conditions. The Bible bargains a pluralistic figuring out of alternative types of political improvement for various countries, and it depicts changing ideas of nationwide id over the years.

In this publication, Morgenstern reads the Bible because the resource of a dynamic critique of the information which are conventionally thought of to be basic to nationwide id, treating in successive chapters the ethnic (Ruth), the cultural (Samson), the political (Jotham), and the territorial (Esther). all through, she explores a few universal issues, corresponding to the connection of ladies to political authority and the “strangeness” of Israelite political life. within the end, she elucidates how biblical research can reduction in reputation of contemporary claims to nationhood.

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Extra resources for Conceiving a Nation: The Development of Political Discourse in the Hebrew Bible

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But unlike the ofWcial court interpreters, Joseph is not paralyzed by the iconic imagery of the dream. He is able to integrate the process depicted by the dream into his interpretation. Instead of viewing the dream just as a series of images to be manipulated by its interpreter, Joseph understands the dream as a key to a greater comprehension of life’s challenges. In other words, Joseph has progressed from seeing a dream as a simple repetition of one idea, or image, to a subtler notion of the dream as metaphorical text—that is, something that incorporates multiple levels of meaning and signiWcation.

Revelation is not appearance” (34). joseph: the politics of dreaming 29 however, the past embodies a living instrument of understanding rather than the dead weight of inescapable fate. This rethinking, or re-cognition, of the image of the past as being instead a dynamic text allows the past to be constantly reimagined and reinterpreted. In essence, rethinking—recognition—of the past is necessary in order to fully achieve understanding—recognition—of it. In this way, the counterintuitive strangeness of Joseph’s interpretations may now be viewed as promoting unity and coherence instead of division and discord.

Despite this, however, the basic distinction between the Israelites and the other ancient nations in terms of their political development still holds. 38 conceiving a nation In the case of the Israelite nation, however, the Biblical text allows us to witness an almost constant encounter between the people and their rulers, with the tone of this national discourse ever shifting. As we will see, it is the extent to which and the ability with which the Israelite leader participates in this dialogue that in effect determines his/her success in both the political and moral arenas.

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