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Introduction: A Place For Sojourn

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Chapter Summary

Anthony D. Smith is a contemporary sociologist most renowned for his work on nationalism. The work of Smith and others on the question of ancient Israel as a nation is concerned primarily with concrete territorial sovereignty and forms of public life, as investigated by historical methods. This chapter focuses on three aspects of Smith's work on ethnic identity: his ethno-symbolic approach to ethnic studies, his understanding of ethnic myth, and his analysis of the function of territoriality and election as elements in the formation of ethnic identity. Smith's notion of ethnoscapes sets up a correlation between attachment to land and the intensification of ethnic bonds. Strong association of an ethnie with a territory, in other words, makes for a powerful and cohesive ethnic myth, which means a strong ethnic identity.

Keywords:ancient Israel; Anthony D. Smith; ethnic identity



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