The Nature and Function of the Concept of the Election of Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy: A Perspective from Nationhood

Manohar, David Jeyeraj (2010) The Nature and Function of the Concept of the Election of Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy: A Perspective from Nationhood. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

The concept of the election of Israel is one of the foundational doctrines of the Old Testament. The main focus of the theological study of the election of Israel has been the issue of dating and the nature of the concept. When did this concept originate? And is the election of Israel an unmerited grace of God or is it dependent on obedience to Torah? In the study of modem nations, the concept of ethnic election is found to be an important factor in the origin and sustenance of nations. If this is so, then the question arises, whether the concept of the election of Israel was closely linked to the origin and sustenance of the ancient nation of Israel? The question of the relationship of election to nationhood has not been sufficiently explored in theological studies. Therefore, this thesis will study the nature and function of the concept of the election of Israel in relation to ancient Israelite nationhood. The modem ethno-symbolic theory of nationhood is useful in the analysis of ancient nations like Israel because it identifies the concept of ethnic election to be an important influence in the creation and maintenance of both modem and ancient nations. The ethno-symbolic perspective on nationhood takes seriously ethnicity and religion or culture in the formation and maintenance of a nation. The book of Deuteronomy is considered to be a constitution by several scholars and thus relevant to the study of nationhood. It is also the locus classicus of the election theology in the Old Testament. Therefore, selected texts from Deuteronomy will be studied from the principles derived from the ethno-symbolic approach to the study of nationhood. Such a study will give a fresh perspective to our understanding of the concept of the election of Israel. Studied from the perspective of nationhood, the concept of the election of Israel can be interpreted as a symbol of belongingness and loyalty to a nation, a symbol of pride and power, and a boundary marker demanding moral and religious loyalty and affiliation to the nation and its God.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Mcconville, Gordongmcconville@glos.ac.ukhttp://www.glos.ac.uk/faculties-and-schools/humanities/staff-profiles/pages/s2100900-gordon-mcconville.aspx
Baker, David L.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bible studies, Deuteronomy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Liberal and Performance Arts > Religious, Philosophical and Historical Studies
Depositing User: Phil Davis
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 11:12
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 15:31
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3236

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