In the preface of David’s Social Drama, Flanagan writes that the goal of the book is to “enrich the understanding of ancient Israel's early Iron Age, especially the processes of state formation that the Bible attributes to David”. Also addressed in this book are the traditions of biblical history as well as archeological and literary information and how it pertains to David.
James W. Flanagan was educated at Loras College, Gregorian University, and Notre Dame College while pursuing Theology and Biblical Studies. Flangan served as chair of religious studies at the University of Montana from 1976–1986. In his later years, Flanagan pursued Biblical archaeology with excavations in Israel, Jordan, Seria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.