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What History Can We Get From The Scrolls, And How?

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Chapter Summary

The 'what history' of the author's title does not mean 'how much history?' but 'what kind of history?' The conventional kind of history, the one that we would perhaps like to get from the Scrolls, and that many of us have been trying to get, aims first to reconstruct a narrative, then to locate that narrative, with its people, places and events, into the narrative of the wider historical world. Cultural or collective memory is not to be understood in the sense of a reliable recollection, but as a shared understanding of the past that serves to create or sustain a group identity. The function of the collective memory has shifted, along with its focus. This chapter discusses the mechanism and motivation behind the shifts of memory. It deals with the most important figure in the life of the 'teacher' according to the pesharim: the 'wicked priest'..

Keywords: collective memory; pesharim; scrolls



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