Actually though, Becoming Israel was my title for the book. The other was suggested by the marketing department, but I like it – among other things, it reminded me of Patrick Geary’s The Myth of Nations, which is also about how groups fashion identities from inherited traditions. Still, to me, “becoming Israel” is the heart of the book—the study of how and why so many groups were able to use the same tradition to construct different visions of Israelite identity and the Israelite past, or, to become Israel in different ways. My innovation here was to include biblical Israel alongside the others, which have historically been studied quite separately, and I did this for two reasons. ...For more on the book, see here, here, and here.
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