- The JBL Forum, an Occasional Exchange
This issue’s JBL Forum focuses on the question of emotion. Françoise Mirguet examines the ways in which two texts, Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities (books 1–11) and the Testament of Zebulun, insert or embed emotion in their rewriting or expansion of the Hebrew Bible. Although these works treat emotion in different ways, both take the perspective of the one who looks upon the pain of another and thereby permit a consideration of how compassion and pity function in the construction of the self. The responses are written by scholars who have each dealt with the topic of emotion in ancient texts: Sarah Judith Pearce from within the field of Second Temple Judaism, and David Konstan and Donald Lateiner from the field of Classics. Taken together, the contributions to this Forum illustrate (yet again) the importance of situating texts within the intellectual world of their authors—in this case, a world very much influenced by Aristotle—and remind us that questions that seem so germane to our twenty-first-century lives—identity and the construction of the self—were asked by others long before our own time.
As always, we invite your comments and responses via the Society of Biblical Literature website (log in with your SBL member number, http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/Journals_JBL_Login.aspx). [End Page 1]