By Carol A. Newsom
This quantity investigates severe practices wherein the Qumran group constituted itself as a sectarian society. Key to the formation of the group was once the reconstruction of the identification of person contributors. during this method the "self" turned a big symbolic house for the improvement of the ideology of the sect. folks who got here to adventure themselves in gentle of the narratives and symbolic constructions embedded in the neighborhood practices may have built the tendencies of affinity and estrangement valuable for the structure of a sectarian society. Drawing on a number of theories of discourse and perform in rhetoric, philosophy, and anthropology, the ebook examines the development of the self in imperative records: the Serek ha-Yahad and the Hodayot.
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Additional info for The Self as Symbolic Space: Constructing Identity and Community at Qumran (Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah)
The Qumran neighborhood, against this, rigorously regulated transactions in wisdom. wisdom performed a imperative function for the neighborhood as an device of social definition. dating to wisdom is what kinds the boundary among the sect and the surface global. anyplace the language of group formation is used, there one unearths the language of information (e. g. , 1QS 1:8–10; 5:8–11). therefore, transactions in wisdom are the topic of sturdy legislation. A “spirit of secrecy” governs the Maskil’s kinfolk with the “men of the pit” (9:22). Even debate with them is specific so as to not compromise the keep watch over of information exercised through the sect (9:17). in contrast the trade of information in the neighborhood serves as a bond that unites individuals. there's even a favorable command to switch wisdom between “perfected” participants: “And not anything that was once hidden from Israel yet came upon by way of the fellow who reviews shall he disguise from those [members] via worry of an apostate spirit” (8:11–12). to switch wisdom is to perform belief and to accumulate the group. The final word of the citation, “fear of an apostate spirit,” additionally underscores the boundary-marking caliber of information. The alienation of the community’s wisdom is an act of aggression and an 117 Saldarini, 283. Safrai, “Education and the examine of the Torah,” 947. Baumgarten, Flourishing of Jewish Sects, one hundred twenty. 119 one other culture affiliates such job with the excessive priest Joshua b. Gamla (see Safrai, 948). one hundred twenty McKnight, mild one of the Gentiles, 106–7; Runesson, 225–26. 118 seventy five assault at the integrity of the neighborhood. in a single of the Hodayot usually linked to the Righteous instructor, the speaker complains of defecting contributors that “all who're linked to me in fellowship converse in poor health of me with evil lips. . . . and with the key you will have hidden in me they pass approximately as slanderers to the youngsters of destruction” (1QHa 13:23–25). The speaker, in spite of the fact that, hurries up to provide reassurance that God has secure the community’s wisdom: “In order to exaggerate my w[a]y, and as a result of their guilt, you have got hidden the spring of knowing and the root of fact” (13:25–26). Alienation of data is perhaps additionally what the Serek ha-Yahad refers to while it decrees expulsion for “one who is going approximately slandering the neighborhood” (1QS 7:16–17). Given the position of information in defining the boundaries of neighborhood, it isn't amazing that the Qumran neighborhood doesn't supply proof of what students have known as the missionary impulse. 121 That the participants of the Qumran group have been prohibited from undertaking public disputes or from disclosing the “hidden issues” printed to them, although, doesn't suggest that they didn't make an allure in accordance with wisdom. Their very reserve served as a strong device of attraction, bettering their attractiveness for owning useful secrets and techniques. similarly the trouble of getting into the community—and the full dedication required of 1 who did—served to provide the Qumran sectarians a undeniable cachet one of the teams competing for effect.