In Search of a New Paradigm: Judean Literature as a Crucible of Appropriations from Multiple Imperial and Native Temple Cultures in Hellenistic Times

Sylvie Honigman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Judaism and Hellenism, Hengel described Judean society and literature as torn between absorption and rejection of Hellenism. Following the publication of that work the idea of a clear-cut dichotomy between several social circles and their assorted literary productions remained hugely popular, although the identification of the sides in conflict varied between scholars, with "hellenization"being located either within or without (and against) the temple. This article offers an historiographic survey before proposing a new paradigm inspired by the New Empire Studies. At its core, it identifies the Jerusalem temple as a lively site of learning, whose literati selectively appropriated ideas, literary forms, and technologies not only from the Greek, imperial culture(s) but also from neighboring temple cultures (Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Phoenician), in a bid to keep their ancestral traditions relevant as they made sense of the ever-changing world that they lived in. Everything was adapted, or subverted and hybridized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-523
Number of pages35
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Volume53
Issue number4-5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Hellenistic
  • Hellenistic Judaism
  • Jerusalem temple
  • Judea
  • Martin Hengel
  • hellenization

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