Date: 29 April–3 May, 2018
Conveners: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Vienna, New York University, the Israel Antiquities Authority, The Israel Museum
Venues: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Israel Museum
To mark seventy years since the initial discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, an international symposium will be held in Jerusalem, April 29–May 3, 2018. The overarching symposium theme will be “The Wilderness”—as a real place; as the location of biblical episodes, most notably during the formative years of Israel’s wandering from Egypt to the Promised Land; as a motif; and as a concept (sometimes idealized, sometimes demonized).
The wilderness figures prominently in biblical texts and in the literature of the Second Temple, rabbinic, early Christian, and early Islamic periods. It was also a place of habitation by various groups during these periods, which have left us archaeological sites, artefacts, documents and the more than 1500 Dead Sea Scrolls. Conference papers may address any aspect of the wilderness as it relates to Qumran; other Judean Desert sites; the Dead Sea Scrolls; and the associated late antique literatures, cultures and religions—particularly, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Papers may focus on such topics as the reception of biblical figures (e.g., Moses, Aaron, Phineas, Miriam, Balaam), events (e.g., the giving of the law, the sin of the golden calf, the building of the tabernacle, covenant ceremonies), and themes (e.g., revelation, law, covenant, rebellion against God, sanctuary, water, and manna) connected with Israel’s time in the wilderness; relevant textual and philological analyses; the use of the relevant biblical passages in shaping later texts; the influence of the desert climate, flora, and fauna on the ancient texts and their state of preservation.
The conference will feature invited lectures; open sessions; and two public lectures.
Papers will be accepted for the open sessions in accordance with the relevance of the topic to the overall program. Please send a proposal of no more than 250 words to the Orion Center email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Deadline for receipt of proposals is September 20, 2017; responses will be mailed by October 31.
- Esther Chazon, Director, The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem;
- Armin Lange, Professor of Second Temple Judaism and Director of the Institute for Jewish Studies, University of Vienna;
- Lawrence H. Schiffman, Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University;
- Pnina Shor, Curator and Head of Dead Sea Scrolls Projects, The Israel Antiquities Authority;
- Adolfo D. Roitman, Lizbeth and George Krupp Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Head of The Shrine of the Book, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.