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Defining Sectarian By ‘Non-Sectarian’ Narratives In Qumran

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Chapter Summary

Definitions of religious groups vary greatly depending on the person or group who or which determine them: terms used in definitions shaped by "the other" and those of self-identification are determined by the cultural and social background of the speaker, as well as by the auditory to which the definition is addressed to. Self-definition represents a continuous element in the life and history of any religious community. The Qumran group, the library of which was found in the caves neighbouring the Qumran site, came into existence in the middle of the second century BCE when the Qumran site was established as the separate center of a religious community. The history of the Jewish sects begins with the Persian period. A text taken as "non- sectarian" can express basic ideas of the sect, shaped in a different form than the "mainstream" forms of expression known from the heyday of the group.

Keywords: non-sectarian; Qumran site; religious community; Jewish sects; Persian period

10.1163/ej.9789004206489.i-308.17
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004206489.i-308.17
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