Review of Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Exclusive Inclusivity

Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

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For over a decade, Dalit Rom-Shiloni has been at the forefront of research on the social, theological, sociolinguistic, and cultural effects of the Babylonian exiles (597–538 BCE) and its resonances in a variety of biblical texts. The publication of her monograph Exclusive Inclusivity: Identity Conflicts between the Exiles and the People Who Remained (6th–5th Centuries BCE) (LHBOTS, 543; London: Bloomsbury, 2014) represents the culmination of her extensive examination of these sources and a synthesis of ideas concerning their implications. Rom-Shiloni’s work brings together redaction-critical, linguistic, and social-scientific methods of examination in a way that illuminates corners of the exilic experience that have generally not received the attention they deserve. In particular, she highlights the struggle (or better, struggles) surfacing among the different social groups of the 6th–5th centuries BCE whose sense of group identity was repeatedly challenged during this era by geographic dislocation, economic disruption, and competing claims on traditions and institutions of high antiquity. The greatest conceptual division emerging from this miasma of social and theological confusion and trauma was, as she argued persuasively, the categorizing of populations into two camps: those whose identities were somehow conditioned by geographic exile, and those whose identities were defined by having remained behind in the homeland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hebrew Scripture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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