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Dirk Smilde Fellowship Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Dr. George J. Brooke: "A Summer's Day? With What Shall We Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls?"

Wanneer:vr 02-02-2018 15:30 - 17:30
Waar:Van Swinderen Huys, Oude Boteringestraat 19, 9712 GD Groningen, The Netherlands


On February 2nd, the president of the University of Groningen, Sibrandes Poppema, will present the Dirk Smilde Fellowship to Prof. Dr. George J. Brooke, Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis Emeritus at the University of Manchester, UK . Dr. Gareth Wearne will receive the Dirk Smilde Scholarship. If you would like to attend the ceremony please register.

Prof. George Brooke’s inaugural lecture asks: to what should the Dead Sea Scrolls be compared? Over the years, many comparisons have been offered: sometimes with texts from the second millennium BCE, sometimes with texts from the Middle Ages, and with everything in between. Comparisons have also been made with items from Babylon to Italy, and from Asia Minor to Egypt. How should such comparisons be controlled? What makes a comparison appropriate? With eight examples from the Bible to the Copper Scroll, from Libraries to Voluntary Associations, the lecture will address some of the issues as it seeks to locate and illuminate the Dead Sea Scrolls within a broader comparative frame of reference.

Prof. Dr. George J. Brooke
Prof. Dr. George J. Brooke

George J. Brooke

George J. Brooke is Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis Emeritus at the University of Manchester where he taught Biblical Studies and Early Judaism from 1984 until 2016. He completed his Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate School, California, in 1978 under the direction of William H. Brownlee, one of the first scholars to touch the scrolls in 1948 when they were brought to the American School for Oriental Research in Jerusalem. Since 1992 he has been a member of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s international team of editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is currently working on a revised edition of a series of manuscripts from Qumran’s Cave 4. He was a founding editor of the journal Dead Sea Discoveries (Brill, 1993-2003). In 1999 he was the President of the British Association for Jewish Studies. Awarded a D.D. from Oxford University in 2010, he was President for 2012 of the British Society for Old Testament Study. He is also Visiting Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Chester.


15:30 Arrivals
15:45 Welcome by Mladen Popović (Dean, Faculty of Theology & Religious Studies)
15:50 Presentation of Dirk Smilde Fellowship 2018 and Dirk Smilde Scholarship 2018 by Sibrand Poppema (President, University of Groningen)
15:55 Lecture, George J. Brooke, A Summer's Day? With What Shall We Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls?
16:30 Response by Dr. Gareth Wearne, Dirk Smilde Scholarship recipient
16:40 Questions and discussion
17:00 Drinks and Snacks (Brasserie, Van Swinderen Huys)


Dirk Smilde

Through the University’s Ubbo Emmius Fund, Mr. Dirk Smilde (1926-2013) made a generous multi-year financial commitment to the Qumran Institute. By associating his name to the fellowship – unique in the Netherlands – we want to honour the important role and financial contributions of Dirk Smilde towards the research of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of Groningen. With this fellowship it is possible for leading researchers in the field to come to the Qumran Institute for a while, conduct research and share knowledge with other researchers. This fellowship is awarded every two years. The Dirk Smilde Scholarship is meant for excellent PhD students and postdocs in the fields of Hebrew Bible, early Judaism and Dead Sea Scrolls.

The previous Dirk Smilde Fellowships were awarded to Professor Steve Mason (2014) and Professor Benjamin Wright (2016). This year’s Dirk Smilde Scholarships have been awarded to Dr. Gareth Wearne and Robert Jones, MA.