Ron Hendel: “The Exodus as Cultural Memory”

Professor Ron Hendel (University of California at Berkeley) delivered a lecture at the Arizona Centre for Judaic Centre on March 9, 2015, on the subject of “The Exodus as Cultural Memory”.

The Exodus is a central event in biblical and Jewish memory. But according to the archaeological and historical record, it is unclear what it is a memory of.  I propose that it is, in part, a transformed memory of the demise of the Egyptian Empire in Canaan, which facilitated the emergence of Israel as an independent people.  The story served as an engine of a distinctive cultural identity, a function that it continues to perform today.

The lecture begins at 5:30.

A version of the lecture was published in Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective, edited by Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider, and William H.C. Propp (Springer, 2015).

The Book of Exodus: Myths and Stories – Thomas Römer’s 2014-2015 Seminars at the Collège de France

Videos of Professor Thomas Römer’s 2014 and 2015 seminars at the Collège de France, entitled The Book of Exodus: Myths and Stories, are available at the Collège’s website, or for download at the links provided below (800mb+). The seminars have been overdubbed by an English translator.

His lectures cover similar material to that in his book, Moïse en version originale (Bayard, 2015).

Thomas Römer is Professor of Old Testament at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Collège de France, and author of many works, including Israels Väter (1990), on the Patriarchal traditions in the Pentateuch, and The So-called Deuteronomistic History (2007), on the unity and disunity in the books of Deuteronomy to Kings.

20 FEBRUARY 2014, 2:00 pm
Introduction: Between Autocthony and Allochthony – the Invention of the Exodus

27 FEBRUARY 2014, 2:00 pm
The Oppression in Egypt

06 MARCH 2014, 2:00 pm
Pharaoh’s Midwives: The Birth of Moses, an Imported Legend

13 MARCH 2014, 2:00 pm
The Birth of Moses (continuation). Moses and the Midianites (Part I)

20 MARCH 2014, 2:00 pm
Moses and the Midianites (Part II)

27 MARCH 2014, 2:00 pm
From the Divine Name to the Attack of Moses. Preparations of the Narrative of the Plagues

03 APRIL 2014, 2:00 pm
A Competition of Magicians ? The « Plagues » of Egypt

10 APRIL 2014, 2:00 pm
The Institution of the Passover and the Passage of the Sea. The Historicization of a Myth

26 FEBRUARY 2015, 2:00 pm
Going out of Egypt: Building a Mythical Story

05 MARCH 2015, 2:00 pm
The Song of Myriam and Moses and the First Sojourn in the Desert: The “Law Before the Law”, Manna and Nostalgic Longings for Egypt (Exodus 15-17)

12 MARCH 2015, 2:00 pm
Exodus 16: The Discovery of Manna and the Sabbath

19 MARCH 2015, 2:00 pm
Massa and Meribah, the War Against Amalek and the Encounter on the Mountain of God (Exodus 17-18)

26 MARCH 2015, 2:00 pm
From the Mountain of God to Sinaï (Exodus 18-19)

02 APRIL 2015, 2:00 pm
Theophany, Covenant and Decalogue

09 APRIL 2015, 2:00 pm
The Decalogue and the Covenant Code

16 APRIL 2015, 2:00 pm
The Covenant Code, Breaking and Restoring the Covenant (Exodus 21-40)

Yale Bible Study on Exodus, with Joel S. Baden and John J. Collins

Over eight videos, Professor Joel S. Baden (Yale Divinity School) and John J. Collins (Yale Divinity School) discuss the book of Exodus.

The conversation is part of the Yale Bible Study Series presented in cooperation with The Congregational Church of New Canaan in New Canaan, CT.

The videos are accompanied by study materials on Exodus, made available by the Congregational Church of New Canaan.

Israel Finkelstein’s Website: Including eBook, Articles, Videos, and Lectures

Israel Finkelstein, Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, Tel Aviv University, has a very useful personal website containing resources on the Bible and Archaeology.

The site includes his eBook:

The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History of Northern Israel, Ancient Near East Monographs 5 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013).

a number of his journal articles and book chapters, for example:

The Historical Reality behind the Genealogical Lists in 1 Chronicles“, Journal of Biblical Literature 131 (2012): 65-83.

A Great United Monarchy? Archaeological and Historical Perspectives“, in: R.G. Kratz and H. Spieckermann eds. 2010. One God – One Cult – One Nation: Archaeological and Biblical Perspectives. Berlin (2010): 3-28.

and a number of videos and lectures, including:

The Wilderness Itineraries: Who, How and When did Biblical Authors Know About the Southern Deserts

h/t:`Jim West

Out of Egypt: Israel’s Exodus Between Text and Memory, History and Imagination Conference

Videos of almost all of the papers presented at the Out of Egypt: Israel’s Exodus Between Text and Memory, History and Imagination Conference (May 31 – Jun 3, 2013, Calit2’s Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego) are available on the Conference website and on YouTube.

The transdisciplinary conference featured Egyptologists, Archaeologists, Biblical Scholars, Historians, and Geo-scientists, discussing various aspects of the account of the exodus from Egypt, which is recorded in the book of Exodus.