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Nordic Network in Qumran Studies

National activities in

| Denmark | Finland | Norway | Sweden |

Introducing some information on national activities in the four mainland European Scandinavian countries.



Members of the Danish group affiliated with both the Universities of Aarhus and Copenhagen are participating in a project entitled The Discoursive Fight over Sacred Texts in Antiquity. This forms part of a University of Aarhus focal area of research for 2005-2009. The project studies the processes of canonisation, normativisation and sacralisation of particular texts, which turned these texts into Sacred Scriptures. The processes that eventually led to the canon of the Jewish Bible obviously come to the fore of the interest, and the significance of this project for Qumran scholarship and vice versa is therefore evident.

An introductory course in Qumran Scroll Studies aimed at MA level students was offered in the spring term of 2006. It took the form of an internet-based distance learning course open to students worldwide and will include an introduction to the major aspects of the field as well as close readings of the most important scrolls. The course was prepared by Søren Holst in consultation with other members of the Nordic Network, and the experiences gained form part of the basis for a planned course taught as a joint venture by the Network institutions in common in the spring term of 2009.

Members of the Network are jointly giving series of lectures about Qumran-topics at the 'Folkeuniversitet'. The first one took place in the spring term 2006 and consisted of five lectures about the topic 'Qumran - background and significance'. Lecturers were: Bodil Ejrnæs, Søren Holst, Jesper Høgenhaven (all members of the Qumran-Network) and professor Mogens Müller.



The Finnish group meets approximately once a month to discuss papers presented by the members. In the past there has been sporadic coverage on local television (see in Finland although there is nothing scheduled more recently. If this changes, it will be reported here.



A successful seminar was arranged on 31 Jan 2005 in cooperation with Collegium Judaicum at The Norwegian Lutheran School of Theology, Oslo, with papers presented by Hanne von Weissenberg and Årstein Justnes.

The Norwegian group has been working intensively on the translation of Qumran texts into Norwegian. Five working sessions have been held since March 2003. The 400-page volume Dødehavsrullene was published in October 2004 in the series Verdens hellige skrifter by De norske Bokklubbene, Oslo. The volume will be widely published, as this series has more than 6000 subscribers. The publication of the volume received good coverage in Norwegian media.



Starting from 1 January 2008, TD Cecilia Wassen will be back in Sweden and start teaching as a temporary Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Umeå University

After the Spring semester 2008, TD Mikael Winninge will take up a new position as Director General of the Swedish Bible Society in Uppsala

Thanks to generous funding from the Swedish Bibel Society, TK Kamilla Skarström will be temporarily employed during 2008 with redactional work for the Swedish Qumran translation project. The aim is to bring the translation part of the project to a conclusion during this year.

The Qumran seminar at Uppsala University, headed by Profs. Bo Isaksson and Stig Norin will continue to function also in the coming year as the academic forum for continued work on the Swedish translation project

During the Spring semester of 2008, a joint course on the Dead Sea Scrolls will be offered for the second time by the Universities of Umeå and Linköping, with plans also to include a course given by the University of Ãrhus, Denmark, in preparation for a Nordic course planned for the coming year, when a Nordic textbook on the Dead Sea Scrolls will be taken into use.

The Swedish Qumran translation group, now also including Associate Professor, Dr. Tord Fornberg, Uppsala University, has met in order to discuss various problems related to the translation work (sample translations of a number of texts from various genres have been presented), and also to discuss the way ahead in respect of the distribution of translation tasks. Contacts have been taken with leading Swedish book publishers, with positive prospects for the volume(s) to appear in one of the main series of translations into Swedish of classical texts from the Greco-Roman period.

The translation group is currently working under the supervision of the Qumran seminar in Uppsala (, where old and new translations are being discussed and reworked.

The whole translation group met in Mölle on the 20-24 April 2007 to discuss the material that has produced so far. Host and initiator to the project is Håkan Ulfgard who has been granted funding from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.

In addition to the translation project, a course in Qumran studies was given during the Spring of 2005. About twenty students attended both from Umeå and Linköping. The course was located at the departments of religious studies at the universities of Umeå, Linköping and Uppsala, with the teachers circulating between the universities. Web-based communication was utilised together with video conferences and traditional seminars. The teachers running the course were Håkan Ulfgard, Mikael Winninge and Håkan Bengtsson.

A similar course is planned for the Spring semester of 2008 in cooperation with the universities in Helsinki, Åbo, Copenhagen, Aarhus and Oslo (Menighetsfakultetet).

Cecilia Wassen earned her doctoral degree from the University of McMaster in Hamilton, Ontario in 2004.

A new doctoral student, Kamilla Skarström has been accepted in the network. Her subject is about the two spirits in the Community Rule (1QS). She is employed by Umeå University and has Mikael Winninge as supervisor.

The Swedish part of the network is also involved in the production of an academic volume form the different Nordic symposia which have taken place and is also involved in the planning of an introductory Qumran text book.


This page last updated on 12 October 2017