Some Observations on Cultural Memory, the Hebrew Bible and the History of “Ancient Israel”


Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Cultural Memory
Ancient Israel

How to Cite

Pfoh, E. (2024). Some Observations on Cultural Memory, the Hebrew Bible and the History of “Ancient Israel”. Old Testament Essays, 36(3), 568–586.


Cultural memory as an interpretive concept has had in recent years a concrete impact in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament historical studies. Its main contribution has been to discuss how and to what degree the different evocations (memories) found in the biblical narrative relate both to the history of the production of the biblical texts in antiquity and to the history of “ancient Israel” in the southern Levant, especially during the first millennium b.c.e. The present contribution offers some observations on the matter, essentially from the perspective of social anthropology and critical historiography, reviewing the main aspects of the uses of cultural memory in biblical scholarship, while making some epistemological and methodological observations and proposals.

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