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Secret Groups in Ancient Judaism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Secret Groups in Ancient Judaism

Michael E. Stone


The thesis advanced in this work is that the model of a secret or esoteric group is fruitful for studying various movements and groups in the Greco–Roman world. This is worked out in the extremely interesting case of the Essenes and the Qumran covenanters, for which we have available not only outsider descriptions but also the very documents that embody at least part of their secret teachings. This approach to analysis is not intended to supplant the sect/normative pattern for describing Ancient Judaism, but to supplement it, adding a very fruitful unexplored dimension to the analysis of ancie ... More

Keywords: secrecy, esotericism, initiation, knowledge, Essenes, Qumran covenanters, mysteries, transmission, framework stories, pseudepigrapha

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190842383
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190842383.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael E. Stone, author
Professor Emeritus of Armenian Studies and Comparative Religion at the Hebrew, University of Jerusalem