Wuppertal 2020 Call for Papers
The “Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible” research unit will investigate the religious development from historical and biblical Israel to ancient Judaism. The central underlying perspective for the research unit concerns the relatively new observation that abroad variety of different Yahwistic (and not necessarily “Jewish”) groups existed inside and outside Judah during the 6th-1st century BCE (e.g. in Egypt (Elephantine/Jeb; Alexandria), Babylonia (al- Yahudu), Samaria, Idumea etc.). To sum up the recent discussion so far, the indicators point toward the significantly more multifaceted and regionally diverse early history of Judaism than typically assumed in scholarship. Especially the influence of this diversity on the Hebrew Bible will be in focus of the research unit, as this has not been done sufficiently in the more historically oriented studies on Israel in the Persian and Hellenistic periods.
The research unit organizes two sessions in Wuppertal 2020 and invites papers addressing a) historical and religious-historical aspects of the phenomenon of “Yahwistic diversity” and b) questions on how these groups or their interactions with each other influenced the formation of the Hebrew Bible. Apart from the literary-historical perspectives, the sessions will include the questions of the complex textual transmission of biblical text, which seems to reflect (in some cases, especially in the case of the Samaritan tradition) a reworking of the text in favor of certain group-specific interests.