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Exile And Self-Identity In The Qumran Sect And In Hellenistic Judaism

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Chapter Summary

Since the Qumran sect experience physical exile, its self-identity would have been influenced by that experience and should exhibit characteristics associated with diaspora. The question of affinity between the values and worldview of Diaspora Jewry and those of the Qumran sect has hardly been discussed. This chapter discusses the subject and points to directions for future research. Two methodological issues need to be clarified from the outset. First, a diasporan identity does not necessarily derive from a location outside of the Land of Israel. Second, the attributes under discussion are not general attributes of abstract group identities, but rather specific religious and cultural phenomena. The chapter focuses on a selection of components that demonstrate significant similarities between the identity of sect and certain patterns of identity among communities of Jewish Diaspora. There is a similarity between characteristics of Diaspora phenomenon among Hellenistic Jewish communities and diasporan character of the sect.

Keywords: diasporan identity; exile; Hellenistic Judaism; Israel; Jewish diaspora; Qumran Sect; self-identity



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