Civic Ideology, Organization, and Law in the Rule Scrolls: A Comparative Study of the Covenanters' Sect and Contemporary Voluntary Associations in Political Context

Front Cover
BRILL, Oct 7, 2011 - Religion - 586 pages
0 Reviews
Over the past sixty years, several studies have demonstrated that the Dead Sea Scrolls sect was one of numerous voluntary associations that flourished in the Hellenistic-Roman age. Yet the origins of organizational and regulatory patterns that the sect shared with other associations have not been adequately explained. Drawing upon sociological studies of modern associations, this book argues that most ancient groups appropriated patterns from the state. Comparison of the Rule Scrolls with Greco-Roman constitutional literature, as well as philosophical, rabbinic, and early Christian texts, shows that the sect's appropriation helped articulate an "alternative civic ideology" by which members identified themselves as subjects of a commonwealth alternative and superior to that of the status quo. Like other associations with alternative civic ideology, the Covenanters studied constitution and law with the intention of reform, anticipating governance of restored Israel at the End of Days.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Chapter One Introduction
Chapter Two Civic Ideology and Associational Formation
A Politeia for the Righteous Remnant of Israel in the Evil Age CD A CD 116 CD B CD 1920 4QDah 4Q266273
Statutes for the Council of the Yaḥad 1QS 4QSaj 4Q255264 4Q275 4Q279
A Politeia for Restored Israel at the End of Days 1QSA 4QSEai 4Q249ai
Chapter Six Conclusion and Synopsis
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Ancient Sources

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Yonder Moynihan Gillihan, Ph.D. (2007) in New Testament and Early Christian Literature, University of Chicago, is Assistant Professor of Theology at Boston College. His research focuses on law, ethics, and identity among early Jewish and Christian sects.

Bibliographic information