University of Calgary

2013 Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture

2013 Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture - Singing With Angels: Prayer in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why did Jews begin to pray together daily? Prayer as regularized service of the community is one of the profound contributions of Judaism to western civilization, but the origins of Jewish liturgy remain obscure. The most important evidence is to be found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the earliest known collections of Jewish liturgical prayers. Falk explores the significance of these prayers for understanding the distinctive religious life of these particular sectarians, who joined the angels in worship of God and warfare against dark forces, and in their prayer sought to harmonize with God’s created order and rectify disorder. Falk also reflects on what these texts reveal of trends in early Jewish prayer and piety more broadly.

DANIEL K. FALK is Professor of Ancient Judaism and Biblical Studies at the University of Oregon. A scholar of ancient Jewish literature and history, his research focuses on the formation of sectarian religious communities, prayer and liturgy and the interpretation of scriptures. He is a member of the International Team of Editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls and serves on the editorial boards of the International Organization for Qumran Studies and the Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Falk is the author of Daily, Sabbath, and Festival Prayers in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Brill, 1998), Parabiblical Texts: Strategies for Extending the Scriptures in the Dead Sea Scrolls (T&T Clark/Continuum, 2007), numerous articles, and is co-editor of six books, including a 3-volume series on the history of penitential prayer entitled Seeking the Favor of God (SBL/Brill, 2006-2008). 

Read more about Dr. Falk's lecture here.