Meals and politics in the yahad: A reconsideration

Benedikt Eckhardt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The "Rule of the Community" (1QS) prescribes the organization of meals in a short and not very informative way, which has led to widespread speculations about the cultic significance and/or the political character of meals held in the yahad. This analysis seeks to show that there is nothing in the Qumran texts which justifies the designation of the meal as either "holy" or "political" in the sense usually given to that term. No anti-Hellenistic attitude is apparent. The meals are political in a different sense, designed to visualize hierarchies and to inscribe them into daily practice. Strategies employed for securing the status of priests make the use of semantics potentially associated with the cult understandable as the attempt to create a frame of reference which makes acceptance of priestly status in the community unavoidable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-209
Number of pages30
JournalDead Sea Discoveries: A Journal of Current Research on the Scrolls and Related Literature
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • anti-meals
  • meals
  • rule of the community
  • rule of the congregation
  • voluntary associations


Dive into the research topics of 'Meals and politics in the yahad: A reconsideration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this