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“What Do Ritual Studies Have to Offer to the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls?”

Dirk Smilde Fellowship Inaugural Lecture by Professor Jutta Jokiranta
21 April 2022

*This event will also be livestreamed, please find the link below!

On Friday 13 May 2022, Prof.
Jutta Jokiranta will give her inaugural lecture as the fourth Dirk Smilde Fellow at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen. Professor Jokiranta will work at the Faculty’s Qumran Institute for a period of two months.

Prof. Jutta Jokiranta
Prof. Jutta Jokiranta

Dead Sea Scrolls

Jutta Jokiranta is Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Cognate Studies at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki. Professor Jokiranta’s research has been fundamental in introducing theories and ideas from anthropology and social sciences into the field of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship. She will formally accept her position as a Dirk Smilde Professorial Research Fellow by way of an inaugural lecture on Friday 13 May titled ‘ What Do Ritual Studies Have to Offer to the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls?’

Cohesion, Conflict, Communication and Change

This lecture presents ritual theories as a thinking tool for the study of ancient history and texts. Rituals are manifold and function for many purposes. Scholars are interested in various aspects of rituals and define ritual in various ways. This lecture will introduce four keywords, “cohesion” and “conflict”, “communication” and “change,” to capture some common interests and approaches to ritual behaviour. Rituals often bring about a sense of belonging and unity but they may also confirm power structures or stir existing tensions and conflicts. Rituals communicate knowledge, transmit traditions, and invite meaning-making, and they also bring about change in people’s status or circumstances. We need both cultural and cognitive perspectives to address ritual. These theoretical perspectives are illustrated with examples from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Visiting Research Fellow

Prof. Mladen Popović, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, is thrilled to welcome Prof. Jokiranta in Groningen: “ Prof. Jutta Jokiranta is a very distinguished scholar and as president of the International Organization for Qumran Studies she is central to the current developments in our field. Her approaches range from sociological to cognitive sciences and ritual studies perspectives. Apart from being an innovative researcher, she is also a great teacher. We are very lucky to have her in Groningen with us so our junior researchers and students can benefit from her insights and very broad knowledge of the field.” During her appointment in Groningen, professor Jokiranta will give a series of seminars that address the topic of Ritual Studies in relation to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Prof. Jutta Jokoranta will give her ​​inaugural lecture in the Court Room of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38, Groningen. The lecture will start at 15:30 pm. If you wish to attend, please register by filling in the registration form below.

When: Friday 13 May 2022, 15:30 pm
Where: Court Room of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38, 9712 GK, Groningen
Link to the livestream (will stream from 15:15 pm onwards)

Last modified:12 May 2022 4.09 p.m.

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