This essay collection constructs an interdisciplinary conversation around the concept of utopia and its possible applications to interpreting Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The work is suggestively wide-ranging, drawing from Thomas More’s Utopia, science fiction, ancient cosmography, and the Bible. Two central questions unite the essays in this volume: (1) What is a “utopia”? and (2) Do Chronicles and Ezra–Nehemiah fit the identified criteria for a “utopian work”? The contributors do not answer these questions in the same way, and they often disagree concerning both the definition and the application of utopian theory. This dynamism serves to demonstrate the ongoing value of this conversation for understanding the different ways in which ancient texts represent the past to influence the present and the future.

Frauke Uhlenbruch’s introduction offers a preliminary definition of “utopia,” the first of many in the work. She argues that “utopia” is primarily a heuristic category, a thought...

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