Santa Clara University
Religious Studies Department, SCU
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Course Description

The Dead Sea Scrolls, a cache of over 800 manuscripts dating from 250 B.C.E. to 68 C.E., were discovered in caves along the Dead Sea in 1947-1956.  They represent one of the greatest manuscript finds of the twentieth century.  How we approach the cache in this course will be determined by the students.  Possible questions we might address include the following: How do the manuscripts challenge our views of early Judaism and Christianity?   How do you reconstruct a community from literary and archaeological remains?   How did/does the political situation in Israel impact the discovery and discussion of the scrolls?  How do contemporary religious beliefs bias readings of the scrolls?  This is not a class about conclusions, but about evidence and open questions; it is less about answers than about the process of reaching them.

How to Use this Web Site

The tabs at the left guide you to course resources.  Use them to access directions, schedules, research tools and grades throughout the quarter, as needed.  The Class Prep pages provide introductions to each day's readings and questions you will be expected to prepare in advance of each class, along with exercises that will reinforce in-class work and prepare you for quizzes and exams.