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Re: orion Several

At 03:31 PM 10/17/97 +0200, you wrote:

>Nevertheless... on varieties of sectarianism: B. Wilson proposed a
>distinction which I have found helpful and am happy to recommend to others
>- between what he called reformist and introversionist sects.

This is indeed an interesting distinction.  But does it really apply in the
minds of the Qumran inhabitants and other groups.  I.e., would they have
seen "themselves" as sectarians?

> Pharisees
>and Sadducees among ancient Jews would fit the former category, Qumran
>definitely in the latter. As the names imply, the distinction has to do
>with the extent to which a group writes off all other Jews as hopelessly
>lost and not worth the trouble to save.

I hardly think that the Qumran authors wrote off others as hopeless.
Still this is an important avenue worthy of examination.

> Nonetheless, I would argue,
>Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and (sorry to touch a sore nerve;
>please overlook the "and" if it offends you) Qumran were all sects as I
>would understand the term. At the very least, Josephus included Pharisees,
>Sadducees and Essenes within the framework of Jewish philosophies he
>presented. The crucial characteristic which makes them all sects, as I
>would employ the latter term, (even if our information on the Sadducees is
>so limited that I cannot prove the point in their case) is purity rituals
>by which non-sectarian Jews are treated as outsiders (boundary marking). 
>Al Baumgarten
>Bar Ilan University


Jim West

Adjunct Professor of Bible,
Quartz Hill School of Theology