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The Dead Sea Scrolls: Contours of Belief

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Sunday Lecture - The Dead Sea Scrolls: Contours of Belief
Professor Philip Davies

The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in Palestine in 1947, are the only literary texts we have in Hebrew from the first century CE, when the sacrificial cult of Judaism ended, and different forms of Judaism took over, including the new religion of Judaism. The Scrolls contain texts of scripture and scriptural interpretation, as well as rules for sectarian communities. Of particular importance is the range of religious ideas that they betray, suggesting that the spectrum of beliefs at the time was much broader than was previously thought, and contains the seeds not only of orthodox forms of Christianity and Judaism, but of several strands of belief that lay on their fringes or were even hereticized. We still know very little for sure about the groups responsible for these scrolls, or their history. But we can use them to redraw the prehistory of Western (including Islamic) monotheism and its central problem, the origin and nature of evil. Philip R. Davies is Professor emeritus of biblical studies at the University of Sheffield. He was the Director for the Centre for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is the author of numerous books and articles on ancient Israelite history and religion, including Scribes and Schools (1998) in the Library of Ancient Israel. He is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has written four books on the subject.

Doors 10.30, £5 in advance, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members
Tickets available from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sunday-lecture-the-dead-sea-scrolls-contours-of-belief-tickets-10600256653
Tea & Coffee will be available.