A survey of research on the period more generally termed the ‘Exile’ reveals an important distinction between analyses of the literature of two of the communities that experienced the disaster that followed the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE, namely, that in Judah and that deported to Babylonia. Analyses of literature from the exiles show greater awareness of the importance of context in the articulation of religious ideology. Since recent studies have provided greater details about the distinctive context of the community in Judah, it follows that an important step in moving research on the period of the exile into new directions should include new data that has come to light as well as the reassessment of religious literature from the people of the homeland in this period. It also requires that the terminology for the period under question be taken under consideration as greater concern to be inclusive of the variety of populations that experienced the disaster of 587. The term ‘Templeless period’ is suggested as a suitable alternative to the ‘exilic age’.
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