Ian Wilson deposited Remembering Kingship: Samuel’s Contributions to Postmonarchic Culture in the group Biblical Studies on Humanities Commons 2 years, 10 months ago
Kingship has been a political mainstay in human history, even when peoples have lacked monarchic rulers. This essay examines the book of Samuel as a source for the cultural history of ancient Judah, focusing on the question of how Samuel’s representations of monarchy would function for its readers in the early Second Temple era. In this era, when Samuel became a book, as it were, the people of Judah lacked an indigenous king, but they were thinking deeply about kingship nonetheless. The narrative of kingship’s beginnings in Israel, as represented in Samuel, demonstrates that Judeans had no single response to kingship, no unified understanding of monarchy’s meaning as part of their political past. And Samuel himself, the figure in the narrative, would mediate this complex of political remembering for the book’s ancient readers.