The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed

5-24-2017

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Garfinkle, Steven J.

Second Advisor

Goldman, Tristan

Third Advisor

Neem, Johann N.

Abstract

In this project I argue for a diachronic approach to Jewish identity that takes into account their experiences as imperial subjects under the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Seleucid Empires. By looking at how the Jews engaged with imperialism and identity as a process that spans these different imperial regimes, we can construct a clearer image of Jewish identity in antiquity.

I argue that Jewish identity must be examined as an ongoing process that was aided by literature and propelled by imperialism. Their identity as Jews was centered on one key idea: a separateness from others that was based in a Covenantal relationship with YHWH. As the Jews sought to maintain that separateness they renegotiated their identity as different threats arose with shifting imperial authority.

The Hebrew Bible is the end product of a long process of changes. It preserves centuries of history, prophecy, and poetry, all telling the story of a people and their God. But it is not a merely a record. These texts were intentionally created in response to their experiences as imperial subjects. By the second century BCE, these texts serve as the foundation of Jewish identity. Current historiography tends to address Jewish identity in the Hellenistic periods. However, their Jewish identity was threatened and shaped by imperialism long before the Hellenistic period.

Type

Text

Publisher

Western Washington University

OCLC Number

988611269

Digital Format

application/pdf

Genre/Form

Academic theses

Language

English

Rights

Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Included in

History Commons

Share

COinS