978-1-56338-182-9 / 9781563381829

Archaeology, History, and Society in Galilee: The Social Context of Jesus and the Rabbis


Publisher:Bloomsbury T&T Clark



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About the book:

In this book Richard Horsley attempts to construct bridges of communication and engagement between the fields of archaeology and history focused on a new understanding of Galilee. He contends that neither the material nor the textual remains from Galilee can be adequately understood without consideration of the prevailing patterns of power relations in Galilee, Palestine, and the Roman Empire. He also uses recent work in the wider field of anthropological archaeology to reconfigure and reinterpret key findings of archaeological excavations in Galilee.Chapter by chapter Horsley constructs a picture of social relations Galilee that is based upon and helps explain both the artifacts and texts, and that takes fully into consideration the changing historical circumstances between the time of Jesus and the rabbis.Chapter 1 sketches the history of Galilee from biblical times through late antiquity; chapter 2 examines the character of the cities constructed during the lifetime of Jesus and their economic and cultural impact on the people; chapter 3 challenges archaeological and textural interpretations that tend to assume a "market model of economic life in Galilee; chapters 4 and 5 portray the villages of Upper and Lower Galilee respectively, exploring the numerous indications of conflicts between the villages and cities in the first century; chapter 6 reviews archaeological reports on synagogue buildings in Galilee with attention to date, architectural style, and décor; chapter 7 reexamines the evidence for the relative use of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek in Galilee.Here, then, is an accessible new picture of Galilee that sheds light on the social context in which Jesus and the rabbis lived and functioned.Richard A. Horsley is Professor of Classics and Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and author of Galilee: History, Politics, and People published by Trinity Press.

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