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Is A Historical Comparative Sociology Of (Ancient Jewish) Sects Possible?

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Chapter Summary

The religious, social and political movements within Second Temple Judaism, within a variety of societal configurations from Persian, Greek and Roman Palestine, to Egypt and Babylonia, are of great interest to the sociologist. The analysis of the data from the Dead Sea Scrolls from a sociological perspective can also generate new sociological ideas. For advances to be made in the sociological analysis of sects in general and in ancient Judaism in particular it is essential to develop effective ways of dealing with the need to conduct, and the challenge of conducting, comparative analysis. To achieve a fuller description of ancient Jewish societies requires the same methodological rigour necessary to the study of the sect to be applied to each and every concept relevant to the task.

Keywords: ancient Jewish; ancient Judaism; Dead Sea Scrolls; Second Temple Judaism



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