How Hard is it to Get into the Community Rule? Exploring Transmission in 1QS from the Perspective of the Modes of Religiosity

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The Community Rule from Qumran (1QS) communicates its message to its recipients by employing a variety of genres (e.g., instructions, rules, rituals, myth, hymn). This article attempts to explore some of the underlying cognitive mechanisms involved in the process of transmission by drawing on insights from cognitive science in terms of Harvey Whitehouse’s Modes of Religiosity theory. According to this approach, certain religious ideas and concepts are “cognitively optimal” (i.e., relatively simple and straightforward, often minimally counterintuitive) and therefore easy to remember, while others are “cognitively costly” (i.e., requiring greater conscious effort to be preserved and transmitted). Two different “modes” are the typical ways to preserve and transmit such contents: The “imagistic” mode relies on low-frequency and high-arousal rituals, whereas the “doctrinal” mode is associated with high-frequency and low-arousal rituals. Through the usage of different genres, each of which shed light on 1QS’s agenda, the costly and demanding nature of the 1QS content is highlighted. Analyses of selected passages from 1QS show how elements of the doctrinal and the imagistic modes are involved in facilitating the transmission of the content.
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of the Old Testament
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)159-186
StatusUdgivet - 8 okt. 2021

ID: 287118085