Press Contact: John Sullivan (202) 707-9216, Lucy Suddreth (202) 707-9191
March 25, 1993
Library of Congress to Host Dead Sea Scroll Symposium April 21-22 in Conjunction with Major Exhibition
A symposium on the Dead Sea Scrolls will be held at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, April 21, and Thursday, April 22. The two-day program, cosponsored by the Library and Baltimore Hebrew University, with additional support from the Project Judaica Foundation, will be held in the Library's Mumford Room, sixth floor, Madison Building. Seating is limited, and admission to any session of the symposium must be requested.
The symposium will be held one week before the public opening of a major exhibition, "Scrolls from the Dead Sea: The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Scholarship," that opens at the Library of Congress on April 29. On view will be fragmentary scrolls and archaeological artifacts excavated at Qumran, on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority. Approximately 50 items from Library of Congress special collections will augment these materials. The exhibition, on view in the Madison Gallery, through August 1, is made possible by a generous gift from the Project Judaica Foundation of Washington, D.C.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been the focus of public and scholarly interest since 1947, when they were discovered in the desert 13 miles east of Jerusalem.
The symposium will explore the origin and meaning of the scrolls and current scholarship. Scholars from diverse academic backgrounds and religious affiliations, will offer their disparate views, ensuring a lively discussion.
The symposium schedule includes opening remarks on April 21, at 2 p.m., by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, and by Dr. Norma Furst, president, Baltimore Hebrew University. Co-chairing the symposium are Joseph Baumgarten, professor of Rabbinic Literature and Institutions, Baltimore Hebrew University and Michael Grunberger, head, Hebraic Section, Library of Congress. Geza Vermes, professor emeritus of Jewish Studies, Oxford University, will give the keynote address on the current state of scroll research, focussing on where we stand today. On the second day, the closing address will be given by Shmaryahu Talmon, who will propose a research agenda, picking up the theme of how the Qumran studies might proceed.
On April 21 other speakers will include:
Eugene Ulrich, professor of Hebrew Scriptures, University of Notre Dame and chief editor, Biblical Scrolls from Qumran, on "The Bible at Qumran;"
Michael Stone, National Endowment for the Humanities, distinguished visiting professor of Religious Studies, University of Richmond, on "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Pseudepigrapha."
From 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. a special preview of the exhibition will be given to symposium participants and guests.
On April 22, beginning at 9 a.m., speakers will include:
Magen Broshi, curator, Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, on "Qumran: The Archaeological Evidence;"
P. Kyle McCarter, Albright Professor of Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, on "The Copper Scroll;"
Lawrence H. Schiffman, professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University, on "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism;" and
James VanderKam, professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, on "Messianism in the Scrolls and in Early Christianity."
The Thursday afternoon sessions, at 1:30 p.m., include:
Devorah Dimant, associate professor of Bible and Ancient Jewish Thought, University of Haifa, on "Qumran Manuscripts: Library of a Jewish Community;
Norman Golb, Rosenberger Professor of Jewish History and Civilization, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, on "The Current Status of the Jerusalem Origin of the Scrolls";
Shmaryahu Talmon, J. L. Magnes professor emeritus of Biblical Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, on "The Essential 'Commune of the Renewed Covenant': How Should Qumran Studies Proceed?" will close the symposium.
There will be ample time for question and answer periods at the end of each session.
**For RSVP please call Press Contacts John Sullivan or Lucy Suddreth.
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