Recent years have seen an explosion of writing on the history of Israel, prompted largely by definitive archaeological surveys and attempts to write a genuine archaeological history of ancient Israel and Judah. The scholarly world has also witnessed an intense confrontation between so-called minimalists and maximalists over the correct approach to the historicity of the Bible. Memories of Ancient Israel looks at the issues at stake in doing biblical historythe ideologies involved, the changing role of archaeology, and the influence of cultural contexts, both ancient and modern. Davies suggests a different way of defining the problem of reliability and historicity by employing the theory of cultural memory. In doing so, he provides a better explanation of how ancient societies constructed their past but also a penetrating insight into the ideological underpinnings of today's scholarly debates.
Philip Davies is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield, England. He is the author of numerous influential books and articles on ancient Israelite history and religion.