Sunday, July 04, 2010

New Book: Rediscovering the Dead Sea Scrolls

Rediscovering the Dead Sea Scrolls: An Assessment of Old and New Approaches and Methods
Maxine L. Grossman (editor)

332 pages; dimensions (in inches): 6 x 9; 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8028-4009-7


Both within and outside the field of Qumran scholarship, the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls is sometimes treated as a rather specialized closed shop. By encouraging interdisciplinary and self-consciously methodological discussions, this volume intends to open that shop and invite new conversations across lines of interest, discipline, and scholarly subfield.

Fifteen respected DSS scholars representing diverse perspectives offer here a window into the scholarly study of these ancient texts. Rediscovering the Dead Sea Scrolls introduces readers to a wide range of established and experimental treatments of the Scrolls, including paleography, archaeology, manuscript analysis, and a variety of literary, historical, and social scientific approaches. The authors provide not only an introduction to a given approach but also a more self-reflective assessment of the limits of their approaches and the potential pitfalls associated with them.

In place of a single authoritative strategy, here are a variety of strategies — some overlapping and others standing alone — all the products of a process that is unusually collaborative. Taken as a whole, they provide a vibrant intersectional picture of DSS studies on the cusp of its seventh decade.


1. Martin G. Abegg Jr.
2. James R. Davila
3. Steve Delamarter
4. Maxine L. Grossman
5. Charlotte Hempel
6. Jutta Jokiranta
7. Jonathan Klawans
8. Robert Kugler
9. Hayim Lapin
10. Jodi Magness
11. Sarianna Metso
12. Carol A. Newsom
13. Eibert Tigchelaar
14. Eugene Ulrich
15. Bruce Zuckerman
I have contributed an essay on counterfactual history and the Dead Sea Scrolls, which, if nothing else, will confirm my reputation for thinking outside the box. You can read an early draft of that essay here.

Congratulations to Professor Maxine Grossman, who put a huge effort into the organizing and editing of this book, as well as to the other authors.