Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity

November 1, 2020
Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity

Throughout history, the relationship between Jews and their landhas been a vibrant, much-debated topic within the Jewish world andin international political discourse. Identity andTerritory explores how ancient conceptions of Israel—ofboth the land itself and its shifting frontiers and borders—haveplayed a decisive role in forming national and religious identitiesacross the millennia. Through the works of Second Temple periodJews and rabbinic literature, Eyal Ben-Eliyahu examines the role ofterritorial status, boundaries, mental maps, and holy sites,drawing comparisons to popular Jewish and Christian perceptions ofspace. Showing how space defines nationhood and how Jewish identityinfluences perceptions of space, Ben-Eliyahu uncovers variedunderstandings of the land that resonate with contemporary views ofthe relationship between territory and ideology.