Mapping Restoration Through Constructivist Law in Ezra-Nehemiah and Ezekiel
Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies
This paper will argue that in Ezra-Nehemiah and Ezekiel, the concept of *torah* took prominence over *tsedeqah* as a foundational component in social identity formation. The former was constructivist, the intent of which was to define the main attributes of a "restored" society, particularly in the area of social group boundaries, and to redefine the dominant distribution of authority that preexisted the arrival of the immigrants (*golah* community). The law legitimated attitudes of prejudice, which can be seen in the biblical focus on intermarriage and intergroup social relations, but for the purpose of controlling the definitive qualities of a new, idealized social-political normative. Consequently, in this literature *tsedeqah* reflected little more than the individual's or group's actions that were in line with and supportive of that idealized normative.
International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and the European Association of Biblical Studies
"Mapping Restoration Through Constructivist Law in Ezra-Nehemiah and Ezekiel" (2015). Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants. 643.