A d F o n t e s

(Latin: "to the sources")

Davila (St. Andrews) Reviews Facts on the Ground by Nadia El Haj (Barnard)

Jim Davila of U. St. Andrews–owner of among the most important biblioblogs in existence–has written a review of Nadia El Haj’s book Facts on the Ground:  a book whose content has threatened her elevation to tenure at Barnard College.  As to whether she should be denied tenure I withhold judgment–I’ve not read the book and it’s not my place to say. But read Davila’s review–this paragraph I think encapsulates it well: 

To conclude, Facts on the Ground makes some interesting observations about how nationalism and politics have fed into and fed off of Israeli archaeology. But these observations are offered in the context of an extreme perception of Israel as a colonial state, and I suspect that, whatever readers think of this viewpoint, the book’s tendenz is so transparent that no one’s mind will be changed one way or another by reading it. When it talks about things I know about, it consistently slants the presentation of the evidence according to this tendenz so that the conclusions are predictable and not very interesting. This book makes no contribution to the archaeology of ancient Palestine or what it can tell us about the history of ancient Israel. Others can decide whether the book makes a contribution in some other area.

September 28, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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