Dead Sea Media

Orality, Textuality, and Memory in the Scrolls from the Judean Desert


In Dead Sea Media Shem Miller offers a groundbreaking media criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although past studies have underappreciated the crucial roles of orality and memory in the social setting of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Miller convincingly demonstrates that oral performance, oral tradition, and oral transmission were vital components of everyday life in the communities associated with the Scrolls. In addition to being literary documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls were also records of both scribal and cultural memories, as well as oral traditions and oral performance. An examination of the Scrolls’ textuality reveals the oral and mnemonic background of several scribal practices and literary characteristics reflected in the Scrolls.

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Shem Miller, Ph.D. (2012) in Religions of Western Antiquity, Florida State University, is an Instructional Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi.
The rich interplay of orality, textuality and memory is explored in the ancient manuscripts by looking, for instance, at spacing as ‘cues’ for performance or pedagogy. This volume takes scholarly discussions on these important questions significantly further by offering a sustained analysis of how orality, textuality and memory intersect. The DSS offer a superb case study, though the implications of the research have a much wider reach.
Charlotte hempel, SOTS Review
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

 1 Textual Criticism
 2 Media Criticism
 3 Media Studies
 4 Summary

1 Oral Performance
 1 Oral Performance of Members
 2 Oral Performance of Leaders
 3 Conclusion

2 Oral Tradition and Oral Authority
 1 Oral Tradition
 2 Oral-Traditional Texts
 3 Oral Law and Oral Authority
 4 Oral Transmission
 5 Conclusion

3 Oral-Written Textuality
 1 Stichometry and Colometry
 2 Literary Functions of Stichography
 3 Oral Functions of Stichography
 4 Sociolinguistic Setting of Stichography
 5 Conclusion

4 Oral-Written Register
 1 Special Layouts
 2 Spacing Techniques
 3 Special Codes
 4 Conclusion

5 Cultural Memory
 1 Performance Criticism
 2 Sociolinguistic Context of the Hodayot
 3 Cultural Memory of Membership
 4 Performance Role of the Maskil
 5 Cultural Memory of Leadership
 6 Conclusion

6 Scribal Memory
 1 Scribal Memory and Scribal Performance
 2 Long-Term Memory
 3 Episodic Memory
 4 Short-Term Memory
 5 The Hodayot
 6 The Community Rule
 7 Conclusion

 1 An Ancient Media Criticism
 2 Dead Sea Media
All interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Judaism, and Judaism of the Second Temple, Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible), Media Studies, Memory Studies, Oral Tradition, Orality Studies, and Performance Criticism.
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