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Bringing Chaos to Order: Historical Memory and the Manipulation of History

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In modern approaches to biblical and classical studies enlightenment scientific models have dominated historical investigation. As such, the notion of memories and traditions, even when they are assumed to be invented, are presented as reflecting a linear projection of history, with singular causes of change. Modern science, however, has moved beyond the Newtonian view of mechanics that undergirds such a view and is working with models of chaos and complexity. Social scientists and humanists are lagging behind and are only now beginning to understand the implications for their disciplines. This paper adds another voice to the small but growing cadre of promoters of a non-linear notion of historiography by noting its implications for a project of redescribing Graeco-Roman antiquity.

Affiliations: 1: Queen's Theological College, Queens University Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada

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