13 February 2007

1421) Jewish Diaspora, Hellenic Diaspora

Abstracts

Diaspora, Identity And Nation-Building, Pascalis M. Kitromilides
National Hellenic Research Foundation

In this paper I consider two broad subjects connected with the intellectual history of the Greek diaspora in the early modern period.

One has to do with the conceptualization of the idea of diaspora in early modern Greek thought. The second considers the ways the Greek intellectual diaspora attempted to respond to the challenge posed by the question of changing identities in diaspora communities in the early nineteenth century.

By examining these two issues one may reach a better sense of the historicity of such concepts as diaspora, diaspora-nations, and national community, which we very often use in scholarly discourse without being fully clear about their precise meaning.

Exile – The Biblical Perspectives, Bustenay Oded, University Of Haifa

This paper focuses on Exile not as a historical episode - that event in which Israel and Judah were carried off from their homeland, first by the Assyrians and then by the Babylonians - but on the ideological-theological interpretations by the biblical scribes of the traumatic and significance turn in the history of ancient Israel. The subject is how the biblical historiographers, prophets, poets, and sages understood and interpreted the Exile. In fact only scant information is found in the Bible about everyday life in Exile, about the exiles’ socio-economic conditions in the land whither they had been dispersed. However, the multitude of verses dedicated to the theological interpretations of the Exile cannot serve the argument that the mass deportations of Israel and Judah, as described in the Bible, are only a metaphor, a late literary invention, a myth, made up to justify the taking of lands in Palestine from the indigenous inhabitants by new Jewish immigrants during the Persian or even Hellenistic periods.

The paper presents the biblical perspectives as follows: (1) Exile as divine punishment. (2) Metaphors for Exile and not Exile as a metaphor. (3) The didactive purpose of Exile. (4) Exile as a means to cause sinning people to repent and to purify the contaminated land. (5) Exile as the end of the nation in its homeland or as a necessary step towards Restoration. . .

Several Other Titles Are Also Included :
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International Conference Jewish Diaspora, Hellenic Diaspora.

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