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ERIC Number: EJ824433
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2001-May
Pages: 30
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Ancient Israel in Western Civ Textbooks
Cargill, Jack
History Teacher, v34 n3 p297-326 May 2001
The author frequently teaches introductory courses in what was once generally called "Western Civilization" and has often been called upon to referee all or parts of the manuscripts of new editions of "Western Civ" textbooks. Through his own reading, he has become aware that much current scholarship on ancient Israel and Judah is inclined to emphasize the comparative lateness of the putting together of the Hebrew scriptures, and to treat the biblical accounts of periods prior to the establishment of the Israelite monarchy--if not the united monarchy itself--as being subject to strong doubts as to their historicity. With largely disappointing results, the author has searched for awareness of these scholarly developments in the chapters and sections on ancient Israel in what was at this writing the latest available edition of sixteen university-level textbooks. In this article, the author presents a survey of textbooks' handling of Israel's history in which he has included enough directly-quoted passages to show that interpretations based on the biblical narrative itself or on quite conservative scholarship are the norm. The article presents a critique and a plea for improvement. (Contains 76 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel