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Sherlock-Taselaar, Ingrid (2009) The lost tribes of Israel: Sources, motifs and discourse in the development of a literary myth. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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For centuries people from different nations have speculated about the ultimate fate and whereabouts of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. As a result it has become a myth with universal appeal that has been recruited for a variety of causes, and even a myth that has the power to persuade people to create a past which has little or no bearing on the objective reality. It has travelled effortless through time and transcended national, cultural, and religious boundaries. The myth originated in a terse report of seven repetitive biblical verses and soon grew into a vast literary corpus. Nevertheless, the structure of the myth is such that it can be moulded according to the needs and aspirations of the user. Through a three-pronged methodology it was established that the myth of the Lost Tribes is an essential feature of Jewish-Christian deliverance discourse from biblical times until the present day. Firstly a number of representative sources and groups ranging from biblical times until today were chosen. Each of these sources enhanced the myth in their own way. A number of them were exclusively Jewish in nature, others were wholly Christian, several were shared between the two, and a few were deemed to be neither Christian nor Jewish. The periodization of these sources has been in centuries rather than in decades. One chapter is devoted to each period and contains a number of sources or groups. Secondly, the development and the use of the motifs that support the discourse were charted to discover whether a change in discourse participants influenced not only the quantity of the motifs but also the motifs themselves. Thirdly, the growth of the myth was tracked and the role of any embellishments discussed.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:10

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