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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides insights into the key concepts discussed in this book on the International Josephus Colloquium. During the 1990s Josephan studies underwent a shift that produced a strong reaction against this arguably positivistic tradition. More recent studies and projects devoted to Josephus, in many languages, tend to proceed from the assumption that his works are true compositions, requiring ever more sophisticated modes of analysis with full consideration of literary context, characteristic language, and rhetorical artifice. While the ultimate goal for most scholars of Josephus remains historical reconstruction, how does the shift in perspective affect the way in which Josephus may now be used for that purpose? This dialectic provides the conceptual framework and organizing principle for the papers in this volume.

Keywords: International Josephus Colloquium; positivistic tradition



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