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Author: Rebekah Welton
In ‘He is a Glutton and a Drunkard’: Deviant Consumption in the Hebrew Bible Rebekah Welton uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the social and ritual roles of food and alcohol in Late Bronze Age to Persian-period Syro-Palestine (1550 BCE–400 BCE). This contextual backdrop throws into relief episodes of consumption deemed to be excessive or deviant by biblical writers. Welton emphasises the social networks of the household in which food was entangled, arguing that household animals and ritual foodstuffs were social agents, challenging traditional understandings of sacrifice. For the first time, the accusation of being a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Deut 21:18-21) is convincingly re-interpreted in its alimentary and socio-ritual contexts.
Listening To and Learning From Children in the Biblical World
In Children and Methods: Listening To and Learning From Children in the Biblical World, Kristine Henriksen Garroway and John W. Martens bring together an interdisciplinary collection of essays addressing children in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and broader ancient world. While the study of children has been on the rise in a number of fields, the methodologies by which we listen to and learn from children in ancient Judaism and Christianity have not been critically examined.

This collection of essays proposes that while the various lenses of established methods of higher criticism offer insight into the lives of children, by filtering these methods through the new field of Childist Criticism, children can be heard and seen in a new light.
Three East African Arabic Historical Documents
This work consists of the translation and annotation of three East African Arabic / Swahili manuscripts together with the original texts. They cover aspects of the history of the coast from the early Himyaritic period up to the beginning of the 20th century. By the use of earlier, in some cases hitherto unused Arabic sources, the authors of the texts have contributed to a fuller picture of the East African coastal history. The texts relate directly to works on East African coastal history that have appeared since the latter part of the 19th century. They are presented against the background of general Arabic and Islamic history. The annotations indicate, and some case stress, significant hints and references to matters that need to be borne in mind, along with archeological and other evidences.
The Travels of Thomas Shaw, Charles Perry and Richard Pococke
Author: Rachel Finnegan
In English Explorers in the East (1738-1745). The Travels of Thomas Shaw, Charles Perry and Richard Pococke, Rachel Finnegan offers an account of the influential travel writings of three rival explorers, whose eastern travel books were printed within a decade of each other.

Making use of historical records, Finnegan examines the personal and professional motives of the three authors for producing their eastern travels; their methods of researching, drafting, and publicising their works while still abroad; their relationships with each other, both while travelling and on their return to England; and the legacy of their combined works. She also provides a survey of the main features (both textual and visual) of the travel books themselves.
In Wom(b)an: A Cultural-Narrative Reading of the Hebrew Bible Barrenness Narratives Janice Pearl Ewurama De-Whyte offers a reading of the Hebrew Bible barrenness narratives. The original word “wom(b)an” visually underscores the centrality of a productive womb to female identity in the ANE and Hebrew contexts. Conversely, barrenness was the ultimate tragedy and shame of a woman. Utilizing Akan cultural custom as a lens through which to read the Hebrew barrenness tradition, De-Whyte uncovers another kind of barrenness within these narratives. Her term “social barrenness” depicts the various situations of childlessness that are generally unrecognized in western cultures due to the western biomedical definitions of infertility. Whether biological or social, barrenness was perceived to be the greatest threat to a woman’s identity and security as well as the continuity of the lineage. Wom(b)an examines these narratives in light of the cultural meanings of barrenness within traditional cultures, ancient and present.
Religion, Revolution, and the Role of the Intellectual
In Ali Shariati and the Future of Social Theory: Religion, Revolution and the Role of the Intellectual, Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri bring together a collections of essays by a variety of scholars who explore the lasting influence of the Iranian sociologist and revolutionary, Ali Shariati. Thought to be the most important intellectual behind the Iranian Revolution of 1979, these essays engage in a future-oriented remembrance of Shariati’s life and praxis, with the practical attempt to clarify, expand, and apply his liberational Islamic thought to modern conditions. Making use of Shariati’s writings on Shi’a Islam and western philosophy, this text is especially important for those who want to understand the role that intellectuals, both religious and secular, can have in the liberation of mankind.

Contributors are: Mahdi Ahouie, Bader Mousa al-Saif, Sophia Rose Arjana, M. Kürad Atalar, Dustin J. Byrd, Eric Goodfield, Teo Lee Ken, Georg Leube, Seyed Javad Miri, Carimo Mohomed, Chandra Muzaffar, Khosrow Bagheri Noaparast, Fatemeh Shayan, and Esmaeil Zeiny.
Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics re-examines the relationship between Eurasia’s past and its present by interrogating the social construction of time and the archaeological production of culture. Traditionally, archaeological research in Eurasia has focused on assembling normative descriptions of monolithic cultures that endure for millennia, largely immune to the forces of historical change. The papers in this volume seek to document forces of difference and contestation in the past that were produced in the perceptible engagements of peoples, things, and places. The research gathered here convincingly demonstrates that these forces made social life in ancient Eurasia rather more fitful and its publics considerably more unruly than archaeological research has traditionally allowed.
Contributors are Mikheil Abramishvili, Paula N. Doumani Dupuy, Magnus Fiskesjö, Hilary Gopnik, Emma Hite, Jean-Luc Houle, Erik G. Johannesson, James A. Johnson, Lori Khatchadourian, Ian Lindsay, Maureen E. Marshall, Mitchell S. Rothman, Irina Shingiray, Adam T. Smith, Kathryn O. Weber and Xin Wu.
Globalization, Migration, and Colonial Domination
Why do empires build walls and fences? Are they for defensive purposes only, to keep the ‘barbarians’ at the gate; or do they also function as complex offensive military structures to subjugate and control the colonized? Are the colonized subjects also capable of erecting barriers to shield themselves from colonial onslaughts?

In Empires and Walls Mohammad A. Chaichian meticulously examines the rise and fall of the walls that are no longer around; as well as impending fate of ‘neo-liberal’ barriers that imperial and colonial powers have erected in the new Millennium. Based on four years of extensive historical and field-based research Chaichian provides compelling evidence that regardless of their rationale and functions, walls always signal the fading power of an empire.
Thunderstorms, Wind and Rain (Tablets 44–49)
Author: Erlend Gehlken
The Assyro-Babylonian omen series Enūma Anu Enlil, written on seventy cuneiform tablets, bears witness to the early understanding of the mutual interactions of heaven and earth on both the physical and the religious levels. To facilitate accessibility, technical and linguistic commentaries as well as an excerpt series were compiled by the scholars of old. This ancient knowledge, which was still largely characterized by mythological concepts, was never completely abandoned, not even when the ‘calculating’ astronomy became prevalent in the first millennium B.C. The series deals in four parts with the moon, the sun, weather phenomena, and fixed stars and planets. This book offers an edition of the texts of the second half of the weather section with the accompanying material.
Servile Laborers at Nippur in the 14th and 13th Centuries B.C.
Life at the Bottom of Babylonian Society is a study of the population dynamics, family structure, and legal status of publicly-controlled servile workers in Kassite Babylonia. It compares some of the demographic aspects proper to this group with other intensively studied past populations, such as Roman Egypt, Medieval Tuscany, and American slave plantations. It suggests that families, especially those headed by single mothers, acted as a counter measure against population reduction (flight and death) and as a means for the state to control this labor force. The work marks a step forward in the use of quantitative measures in conjunction with cuneiform sources to achieve a better understanding of the social and economic forces that affected ancient Near Eastern populations.