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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter tracks the shift in reading approaches to the book of Joshua, from the more traditional criticisms of source and form during the twentieth century to the “new” literary methods that have characterized the transition to the twenty-first century in biblical scholarship. The poetics stance that gradually emerged within the field of Joshua scholarship opened up the book to constructivist as well as deconstructivist readings. The narrative studies mentioned in the chapter exhibit not only remarkable literary depth, but also a strong social and cultural sensitivity that trouble the book’s colonial and androcentric outlook. Using the lens of postmodern spatial theory (“Thirdspace”), the reading of Joshua’s conquest at the end of the chapter decenters the book’s core construction of Israel’s identity around violence, land acquisition, and memorialization of the conquest. The critique “from the margin” gives way to a more compassionate “center.”

Keywords: identity, violence, memory, the Land, spatial theory, postcolonial, androcentric, biblical poetics, source and form criticism, Joshua

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