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Rethinking Gender In The Community Rule: An Experiment In Sociology

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Chapter Summary

On the question of gender, the Community Rule may seem like an odd place to begin. After all, this text has long been treated as the representation of an all-male sectarian collective, whose primary concerns have little to do with the things we often associate with gender: marriage, sexuality, reproduction, and their attendant challenges to ritual purity. Sociological approaches to the Dead Sea Scrolls are well established in the field; for decades they have provided scholars with tools for rethinking basic historical questions about the social structure and ideology of the communities associated with the scrolls. Two working tools will be of particular use in this chapter. The first, drawn from the field of gender studies, might be summed up at its most concrete as the disjunction of textual and social androcentrism. The second working tool comes out of recent sociological scholarship on the scrolls, especially that of Jutta Jokiranta.

Keywords: Community Rule; Damascus Document; Dead Sea Scrolls; gender; sociology



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