Daniel Falk, "Singing with Angels: Prayer in the Dead Sea Scrolls"

Presented by the Centre for Jewish Studies and the Department for the Study of Religion. Part of the Seminar for Culture and Religion in Antiquity.

Why did Jews begin to pray together daily? And why, particularly, to practice daily penitence for sin even apart from specific acts of sin? Prayer as a regularized service of the community is one of the profound contributions of Judaism to western civilization, but the origins of Jewish liturgy remain obscure. The most important evidence is to be found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the earliest known collections of Jewish liturgical prayers. Prof. Falk explores the significance of these prayers for understanding the distinctive religious life of these particular sectarians, who joined the angels in worship of God and warfare against dark forces, and in their prayer sought to harmonize with God's created order and atone for Israel. Prof. Falk also reflects on what these texts reveal of trends in early Jewish prayer and piety more broadly.

Daniel Falk is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Ancient Judaism at the University of Oregon.

Date & Time
Monday, March 3, 2014 - 4:00pm

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100, 170 St. George Street