RURAL BANDITS, CITY MOBS AND THE ZEALOTS BY T. L. DONALDSON Saskatoon, Can. Tools and insights from the social sciences have once again been applied with profit to the field of Biblical studies, this time in the form of Richard A. HORSLEY and John S. HnrrsoN's stimulating study, Bandits, Prophets and Messiahs: Popular Movements in the Time of Jesus'). As its title suggests, the book investigates the various resistance groups and other manifestations of social unrest which culminated eventually in armed revolt against Roman rule in Judea. In particular, HORSEY and HANSON are concerned to ex- amine and describe the role of the common people, the Jewish peasantry, in these social phenomena. Despite the fact that in an agrarian society like that of Palestine the peasant class would have comprised some ninety percent of the population, traditional historiography has tended to ignore it, focussing its attention more on the ruling aristocracy and other literate groups that produced or figured in the literary remains. HORSLEY and HANSON combine the socio-political insights of Eric HOBSBAWM, and other students of pre- industrial societies, with a careful rereading of the sources, to produce a readable, illuminating and largely convincing social history of
Journal for the Study of Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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