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The Teacher of Righteousness and Religious Experience in the Dead Sea Scrolls (RelExDSS)
Date du début: 1 avr. 2014, Date de fin: 31 mars 2016 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The proposed project is a comprehensive assessment of the evidence for the figure known as the ‘Teacher of Righteousness’ in the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered at Khirbet Qumran. It is the first such study based on the entirety of the corpus which has only recently become completely accessible. The project will construct a model for how the memory of the Teacher operated within the ancient socio-religious context of communities behind the Scrolls and provide answers to questions previously overlooked within a strictly historical-critical approach.The methodological approach used for this study is based on recent research on the body and emotion which crosses multiple disciplinary boundaries and applies them to key texts that mention the Teacher of Righteousness. Traditional historical-critical methods grounded in both literary and historical concerns are complemented by rhetorical approaches and recent scholarship on the body and its experiences. Key fields of study include theories of embodiment and subjectivity from post-structuralism, performance studies, and ritual studies. A critical component of the approach taken in this project builds on the social and biological processes of emotion which allow for the recovery of a bio-cultural understanding of the experience of religion at this time. While emotion’s role in the construction and reconstruction of memory has been long acknowledged, this study examines how the strategic arousal of affect generated by texts that mention the Teacher serves to reinvigorate and intensify his memory among his followers. This innovative study is part of an emerging field of research known as ‘Religious Experience’ that seeks to recover the phenomenal experience of religion.