The academic study of the Pentateuch has long appeared to be in the throes of a losing battle with the forces of entropy. Once upon a time, there was wide agreement about JEDP. No more. Will Humpty-Dumpty ever be put back together again?
Perhaps not, but the least one might do is frame the issues in the study of the Pentateuch in such a way that attention to the Pentateuch becomes a matter of burning interest to anyone who occupies herself with (1) the foundations of national and international law, (2) the Scripture-based ethical stances that inform the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and the cultures indebted to them, (3) the proper stance a state and those who maneuver the levers of power should have over against a state constitution, not to mention (4) the historically unique mode of political address which dominates the Pentateuch; said mode of address in which a single principle of justice and truth addresses a polity and (re-)creates said polity in the process, continues to be productive at the junctures which inform political debate in the 21st century.
A conference in May on the Pentateuch at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is promising in this regard. Here's hoping that the May conference will awake many from their dogmatic slumbers, as Hume once succeeded in doing to Kant's benefit.
For more information, go here: http://ias.huji.ac.il/convergence. I tip my hat in gratitude to Bernard Levinson and the other organizers of this splendid conference.