Mahri Leonard-Fleckman is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at College of the Holy Cross, and her training is Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies (PhD 2014, NYU). Leonard-Fleckman’s areas of expertise include literary history and social history, and her current interest is the use (and abuse) of ancient texts in reconstructing ancient society. She is the author of The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision (Fortress, 2016), and co-author of The Book of Ruth (Wisdom Commentary Series, Liturgical, 2017). Her current book project explores ancient constructions of the social and political landscape, and the ramifications of such constructions for assumed notions of identity in the Iron I-II Levant. She co-chairs the steering committees for the Deuteronomistic History Unit and the Historiography and the Hebrew Bible Unit for the Society of Biblical Literature’s annual meetings, and she is the president of the Colloquium for Biblical and Near Eastern Studies.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXII, November 22 – 24, 2019
Who’s Who in the Iron II? Ancient Perspectives on Borders and Identities
The Bible contains a remarkable variety of depictions of the social and political landscape, including boundaries, borders, and identities. This talk explores the malleability of biblical perceptions of Israel in relation to “the other,” focusing specifically on the Shephelah and the coastland. Comparing such biblical depictions to Neo-Assyrian texts and the archaeological evidence, how do these literary constructions of landscape affect how we understand the ancient world? And how might they shed light on our own perceptions of boundaries, borders and people today?