To mark seventy years since the initial discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, an international symposium will be held in Jerusalem, April 29-May 2, 2018. The overarching symposium theme will be "The Wilderness"--as a real place; as the location of biblical episodes, most notably during the formative years of Israel's wandering from Egypt to the Promised Land; as a motif; and as a concept (sometimes idealized, sometimes demonized). The wilderness itself may be seen as a biblical staging area for formative episodes in Israel's history; as a conceptual framework, that itself constitutes a formative element in Second Temple literature; and as a geographical locale, the location of the Qumran group's activity and a theater for contemporary archaeological exploration. Thus, the upcoming symposium explores "the wilderness" from multiple angles—exegetical, historical, sociological, archaeological—as these relate to Qumran, other Judean Desert sites, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and relevant late antique literatures, cultures, and religions.
The conference will feature invited lectures; open sessions; and an evening of public lectures at the Israel Museum. A program of sessions will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
Scholars and graduate students in related fields are welcome to attend symposium sessions.