Judaean Apocalypticism and the Unmasking of Ideology: Foreign and National Rulers in the Testament of Moses 1

Judaean Apocalypticism and the Unmasking of Ideology: Foreign and National Rulers in the... Abstract The current study attempts to move beyond the fashionable scholarly opinion that apocalyptic literature is essentially posed “against empire” by critically analyzing the ideologies evaluated and advanced by the Testament of Moses . The author employs a theoretical framework derived from the work of the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser to argue that the schematization of history in the Testament of Moses exposes and criticizes the domination of national rulers and foreign rulers, but for different reasons. While ideology is depicted as a strategy of domination used by both types of rulers, repressive physical violence is typically only associated with foreign domination. Yet, the text is not simply “against empire.” Rather, the ideology of the Testament of Moses is primarily opposed to the priestly ruling class of Judaea, the group thought to be responsible for the socioeconomic hardships experienced by the Judaean masses in the early first century C.E. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal for the Study of Judaism Brill

Judaean Apocalypticism and the Unmasking of Ideology: Foreign and National Rulers in the Testament of Moses 1

Journal for the Study of Judaism, Volume 44 (3): 301 – Jan 1, 2013

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0047-2212
eISSN
1570-0631
D.O.I.
10.1163/15700631-12340380
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract The current study attempts to move beyond the fashionable scholarly opinion that apocalyptic literature is essentially posed “against empire” by critically analyzing the ideologies evaluated and advanced by the Testament of Moses . The author employs a theoretical framework derived from the work of the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser to argue that the schematization of history in the Testament of Moses exposes and criticizes the domination of national rulers and foreign rulers, but for different reasons. While ideology is depicted as a strategy of domination used by both types of rulers, repressive physical violence is typically only associated with foreign domination. Yet, the text is not simply “against empire.” Rather, the ideology of the Testament of Moses is primarily opposed to the priestly ruling class of Judaea, the group thought to be responsible for the socioeconomic hardships experienced by the Judaean masses in the early first century C.E.

Journal

Journal for the Study of JudaismBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2013

Keywords: Testament of Moses ; apocalypticism; ideology; rulers; empire

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