Skip to main content

Sacralization of Script(s) in Ancient Israel to Qumran

a photo of Ursula Schattner-Rieser
Thursday, November 23, 2023, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The written and the oral Bible are the stabilizing pillars of Jewish life since more than 2500 years. The Authority of the Torah is the guarantee for the survival of Judaism since several thousand years. For Jews all authority comes from the Torah of Moise and so from God. The teachings of the Torah influence all Jewish life when Jews follow its commandments with the instructions for worship as well as for living, eating, clothing, marriage, and divorce amongst many other things. The collection and selection of Sacred Writings is the result of the twofold destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Bible is the product of the Jewish Exil from the Persian period. The idea of Holiness is in the centre of Judaism. The oldest manuscripts discovered yet, including those of the Dead Sea Scrolls, date to about the 2nd century BCE. We explore the question of whether there existed texts and other sources that permit us to trace the particularity of the Israelites and the evolution of the Biblical Corpus. When did the Bible became sacrosanct and What are our sources for the History of the sacralization of the Jewish script(s) beside Textual Criticism? In the lecture we define the meaning of Holiness in Judaism and its implications.  

Ursula Schattner-Rieser is a French and Austrian Jewish studies scholar, specialized in Semitic linguistics, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Samaritan Studies. From 1996 to 2011. She was Professor for Comparative Semitics, with focus on Hebrew and Aramaic and Samaritan Studies at the Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (ELCOA) at the Catholique University of Paris (ICP), rue d’Assas. From 2002-2011 she was Lecturer for Hebrew and Aramaic Philology as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) at the University Sorbonne in Paris, France.   She was Visiting Professor for Ancient Judaism at the University of Zurich, Researcher for Medieval Hebrew Book-Bindings in Mainz, Guest lecturer at the Rashi Institute of Troyes/France, Professor for Ancient Judaism, and leader of the Martin-Buber-Institute for Jewish years in Cologne/Germany, Research Assistant at the University of Innsbruck and Salzburg and Visiting Professor at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg. Since 2021 she is appointed at the Institute of Linguistics at the University of Innsbruck where she is the coordinator for the “Ancient Near Eastern Languages” and she teaches Semitic Languages. Her Research activity focusses on the manifold aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran, Samaritan Studies and Comparative Semitic Studies. Additional she is interested in the interaction between Linguistics and Religion (Theolinguistik), the origin and power of Language and script(s) and its consequences in Religion.. 

External guests  are invited to register by filling up this form before November 22. Online participants will receive a link after registration.