New Book on Ancient Israel

The first chapter of The Social History of Ancient Israel: An Introduction by Rainer Kessler can be read on the publisher’s site.

The publisher’s description of the book:

Histories of ancient Israel have usually focused attention on major figures in powerful positions: kings, prophets, and patriarchs. Kessler asks about the larger social patterns that shaped the everyday life of ordinary people, from the emergence of Israel in the hills of Canaan, to the Jewish populations of Greek city-states in the Hellenistic age.

The introductory section includes discussion of social history as discipline and as method, event history and the “long haul,” the representation of social history, and the history of research. Two other sections explore the methods of the social history of Israel and the epochs of Israel’s social history, including discussions of environment as living space, Israel’s emergence as a kinship-based society, exile and its consequences, and more. Includes a time line, glossary of terms, maps and illustrations.

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