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Performing Memory in Biblical Narrative and Beyond
Edited by Athalya Brenner, Frank H. Polak

Memory—‘authentic’, manufactured, imagined, innocent or deliberate—becomes remembrance through its performance, that is, through being narrated orally or in writing. And when it is narrated, memory becomes a shaper of identities and a social agent, a tool for shaping a community’s present and future as much as, if not more so, than a near-simplistic recording of past history and a sense of belonging.

In this volume, various aspects of narrated ‘memories’ in the Bible and beyond it are examined for their literary and sociological charge within biblical literature as well as in its cultural afterlives—Jewish, Christian and ‘secular’. From inner-biblical memory shaping claims to contemporaneous retellings, the shifts of tradition to story are explored for ways, means and aims that, authorially intentional or otherwise, become influential in adapting the Bible for the postmodern scene and adapting the postmodern scene to the Bible.

This compilation of articles is the result of a collective research project with participants from the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University (The Netherlands), Tel Aviv University and Haifa University (Israel), Poznan University (Poland), Bowdoin College and Brite Divinity School (USA).

This is Volume 3 in the subseries Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion.


Athalya Brenner is Professor Emerita of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Professor of Biblical Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel.
Frank H. Polak is Professor of Bible at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Series: Bible in the Modern World, 25
978-1-906055-80-6 hardback
Publication October 2009

Contents
Athalya Brenner and Burke O. Long, Introduction: Memory, Telling and the Art of (Self-)Definition

I. BIBLICAL NARRATIVES, MEMORY, PERFORMANCE
Yairah Amit,
Araunah’s Threshing-floor: A Lesson in Shaping Historical Memory
Toni Craven, Remembering the Past in the Psalms
Philip R. Davies, Story, Memory, Identity: Benjamin
Frank H. Polak, Negotiations, Social Drama and Voices of Memory in Some Samuel Tales
Meira Polliack, Joseph’s Trauma: Memory and Resolution
Teresa Stanek, Exodus–Covenant: Historical Events as Myth about Origins
Talia Sutskover, Lexical Fields and Coherence in the Jacob Narrative

II. POST-BIBLICAL JEWISH-TRADITIONAL PERSPECTIVES
Avraham Melamed,
‘Of making many books there is no end’ (Qoheleth 12.12): The History of Commentary from Prohibition to Legitimation
Shulamit Valler, The Eretz Israel Narrative in the Babylonian Talmud

III. REMEMBRANCE OF MEMORIES
Jonneke Bekkenkamp,
What Matters in Life: Memory and Narrative in Simon and Wit
Athalya Brenner, Rizpah [Re]membered: 2 Samuel 1–14 and Beyond
Ingeborg Löwisch, Genealogies, Gender, and the Politics of Memory: 1 Chronicles 1–9 and the Documentary Film ‘Mein Leben Teil 2’
Burke O. Long, The Holy Land and its Bible in Orlando
Caroline Vander Stichele, Cutting Edges and Loose Ends, Or: How to Re-Member John the Baptist
Frank H. Polak, Afterword: Perspectives in Retrospect