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Charles Comerford

Theology, Divinity and Religion, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

Is Wisdom Dead? Reconceptualising Wisdom in Light of the Maskil Figure at Qumran

In light of recent studies in Biblical scholarship that question the usefulness and reliability of categorical labels such as “Wisdom” and “Sapiential” for ancient Jewish texts, my thesis seeks to provide an alternative method for examining the concept of wisdom in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Research Area

  • Theology, Divinity and Religion

Publications

  • "What of Wisdom in the Scrolls? Problematising the Expansion of the Wisdom Literature Category from the Hebrew Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls," in Ancient Wisdom Discourses. (eds. S. D. Martin and A. L. Furlan; Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2022).
  • "Review of Sacred Texts and Disparate Interpretations: Qumran Manuscripts Seventy Years Later: Proceedings of the International Conference Held at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 24–26 October 2017. Edited by Henrik Drawnel (STDJ 113; Leiden: Brill, 2020)." JTS (forthcoming 2022).
  • Review of The Cave 3 Copper Scroll: A Symbolic Journey. By Jesper Høgenhaven (STDJ 132; Leiden: Brill, 2020) JTS (forthcoming 2022).

Conferences

Organising:

  • Categories and Boundaries in Second Temple Jewish Literature, M4C CDF – University of Birmingham (March 2021)
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls as a Scholarly Phenomenon, University of Agder (December 2022)

Speaking:

  • Reframing Wisdom Literature, Kings College London (May 2019): "What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Wisdom? Terminology, Definition, and Genre"
  • EABS Graduate Symposium, Zoom (April 2021): "Assessing the Value and Criteria of the 'Wisdom' Label for 4QInstruction"
  • Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio (November 2021): "Before 'Wisdom Literature': Examining Insights from Early Research on Wisdom in the Dead Sea Scrolls"

Public Engagement & Impact

  • Brilliant Club, Placement Tutor (2020-present)
  • UoB, Teaching Assistant (2021-present)

Memberships

  • Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
  • Society of Old Testament Literature (SOTS)
  • European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS)