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Advanced Special Topics in Women's Studies; Dead Sea Scrolls in Gendered Perspective

The Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the great archaeological finds of the twentieth century, provide evidence for an ancient Jewish movement that arose in opposition to mainstream Judaism during the Hellenistic and early Roman periods. While awaiting a messiah and a violent endtimes judgment, this movement developed unusual religious practices, possibly including celibacy and certainly including strict rules about marriage and sexual behavior. How do sex, gender, and sexuality relate to religious identity? How do gender and power interrelate? Attention to the Dead Sea Scrolls in gendered perspective will allow us to answer these questions and to better understand an especially fascinating moment in ancient Jewish history.

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