Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Scholarly reflection on the people behind the Qumran documents has been coloured by the use of the term ‘sect’ from very early on, ever since the first announcement of the discovery of the scrolls was made in 1948. However, more and more scholars have also made an effort to be sociologically informed when hypothesizing about the Qumran movement and its nature. This article discusses the prospects of using the sociology of sectarianism in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The emphasis is on sociological approaches, even though some social-psychological perspectives are also referred to. The aim of sociological approaches in biblical studies is, in the end, to ‘challenge, to broaden and to reformulate the methods of historical criticism’, as well as to understand those processes of social life that cannot be unravelled or reconstructed without the aid of sociological concepts and imagination.

Keywords: Dead Sea Scrolls, Qumran movement, sectarianism, sociological approaches, historical sociology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.