Jewish Identity and Politics between the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba

Groups, Normativity, and Rituals


The 300 years between the beginning of Maccabean resistance against Seleucid rule and the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt were formative for the development of Jewish identity in antiquity. The frequent political changes (from Seleucid to Hasmonean, Herodian and Roman rule) presented profound challenges to Jewish self-understanding. Political adjustments were coupled with internal reconfigurations. We witness the invention and reinterpretation of rituals, the emergence of new religious groups, and the use of scripture as argument. This volume brings together the perspectives of scholars of different background in order to make use of the multifaceted evidence. The interdisciplinary approach leads to a comprehensive picture of the interrelation between identity and politics in this crucial period of ancient Jewish history.

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Benedikt Eckhardt, Ph. D. (2011) in Ancient History, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, is Research Fellow at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. He has published on Hasmonean and Herodian history and other aspects of the religious history of antiquity.
Benedikt Eckhardt, Introduction: Yet Another Book on Jewish Identity in Antiquity;
David Goodblatt, Varieties of Identity in Late Second Temple Judah (200 B.C.E.–135 C.E.);
Arie van der Kooij. The Claim of Maccabean Leadership and the Use of Scripture;
Jodi Magness, Toilet Practices, Purity Concerns, and Sectarianism in the Late Second Temple Period;
Hannah Harrington, Identity and Alterity in the Dead Sea Scrolls;
Benedikt Eckhardt, “An Idumean, that is, a Half-Jew.” Hasmoneans and Herodians Between Ancestry and Merit;
Adam Kolman Marshak, Rise of the Idumeans: Ethnicity and Politics in Herod’s Judea;
Linda-Marie Günther; Die Hasmonäerin Alexandra—Integrationsfigur für den Widerstand gegen den neuen König Herodes?;
Julia Wilker, “God is with Italy now.” Pro-Roman Jews and the Jewish Revolt;
Clemens Leonhard, “Herod’s Days” and the Development of Jewish and Christian Festivals;
Günter Stemberger, Forbidden Gentile Food in Early Rabbinic Writings;
Korbinian Spann, The Meaning of Circumcision for Strangers in Rabbinic Literature;

All those interested in Jewish history in the Second Temple Period, religious history, the impact of Hellenism, and the impact of Roman rule in the East, as well as theologians.
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