Eve Harow, of Arutz Sheva 7 Radio‘s “Judean Eve” program, interviews Dr Jacob L. Wright on his work, in particular his book Rebuilding Identity: The Nehemiah-memoir and Its Earliest Readers (2004).
The interview is in the Hour 2 portion of “Judean Eve”, 21 Tevet 5771 (20 Dec 2010).
The article mentioned at the beginning of the interview is also available free online: Jacob L. Wright, “A Nation Conceived in Defeat”, Azure no. 42, Autumn 5771 / 2010.
Dr. Jacob Wright is assistant professor of Hebrew Bible in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta and Director of Graduate Studies in the Tam Institute of Jewish Studies. At Emory, he teaches courses on biblical interpretation, the history and archaeology of ancient Israel, and Northwest Semitic languages. He is the author of Rebuilding Identity: The Nehemiah Memoir and Its Earliest Readers, which won a Sir John Templeton Award (the largest prize for first books in religion). In addition to responsibilities in the excavations at Ramat Rachel (located outside Jerusalem), he is currently writing a book for Oxford University Press that examines the relationship between war, memory and national identity in ancient Israelite society. He spoke with Eve from Paris, where he is lecturing and receiving another distinguished award. His thesis is that, thanks to the Biblical authors and figures like Ezra and Nehemiah, the defeat of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah ultimately fostered a more resilient and enduring national identity that was able to sustain the loss of territorial sovereignty. The Bible presents procreation and education as the ultimate strategies of Jewish survival. Listen to the interview to understand this tremendous, brilliant Bible scholar and his unique contributions to Jewish thought.