This article begins by questioning the commonly held
assumption that tradition is fixed and does not change
over time. Reform, which is all about introducing change
and bringing newness, must be opposed to tradition. In
light of recent scholarly discussion, this article suggests
that tradition is a dynamic concept. As traditions undergo
constant revision and amendment, the article takes a
renewed look at the relationship between reform and
tradition. The concept “reform” is understood as a means
of change with recourse to the past. Reform, it is argued,
while currently more of a highly metaphorical and no less
normative concept, proves to be a structural moment
of tradition insofar as reform is related to tradition and
tradition to reform. This insight is then combined with a
reflection on the concept of “invention” with regard to
tradition. It is argued that invention is an inherent moment
in the structure of tradition. To demonstrate the relationship
between reform and tradition, three short case studies are
developed, in which the recourse to traditions in reforms
turns out to be an innovation and an invention of tradition.
These three examples are the Josianic reform in 2 Kings
22-23, Ezra’s reading of the Torah in Nehemiah 8, and the
renewal of YHWH worship in Samaria in 2 Kings 17.
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The formalisation of education within a modernised context has led to the belief that morality and adulthood can be acquired through the reading of appropriate literature and institutionalised educational interventions. ...