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Author: Jutta Jokiranta
‘Identity’ and ‘sectarianism’, two crucial and frequently used concepts in Qumran studies, are here problematized, appraised, and redefined. Two social-scientific theories inform the investigation of the serakhim (rule documents) and pesharim (commentaries). The sociology of sectarianism is presented in retrospect in order to identify appropriate methodological tools for speaking about sectarianism in the ancient context, and for comparing sectarian stances in the serakhim. Furthermore, a social-psychological perspective into identity is introduced for the first time for appreciating the dynamic and context-dependent nature of a person’s social identity. The final chapter takes a fresh approach to the study of the pesharim, arguing for the need to read each Pesher as a whole. It analyses the prototypical ‘teacher’ and brings forward new interpretations of this captivating and cloudy figure.
In: Dead Sea Discoveries
In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Jutta Jokiranta

Abstract

The debate on the relationship between the Rule of the Community (S) and the Damascus Document (D) can be distorted by concentrating on the differences between the documents, without a clear appreciation of the significance of their mutual correspondences. The concept of Idem identity is here adopted to demonstrate that what the movement was considered to be is at least as important to ask as who its members were considered (and considered themselves) to be (questions of their ipse identity). The movement could be perceived to be the same, persisting overtime, despite various kinds of differences. The article seeks to identify critical elements of diversity allowed within the same movement. An experiment on the Idem identity is provided by looking at the rule documents and the admission in particular. In its shared social identity, the movement seems to depict itself rather in terms of its activities such as counsel and qualifications than particular forms of communities and organizations.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
In: Journal for the Study of Judaism
In: Social Identity and Sectarianism in the Qumran Movement
In: Social Identity and Sectarianism in the Qumran Movement