Material Text Cultures

Subprojects of the 2nd Funding Period (2015-2019)

Explizite Metatexte in hebräischen und aramäischen Texten aus persischer, hellenistischer und römischer Zeit
(Prof. Dr. Jan Christian Gertz, PD Dr. Friedrich-Emanuel Focken)
Zwischen Literatur und Liturgie – Pragmatik und Rezeptionspraxis poetischer/liturgischer Schriften der judäischen Wüste
(Dr. Friederike Schücking-Jungblut, Anna Krauß)

Subproject of the 1st Funding Period (2011-2015)

Erzählungen von Geschriebenem als Grundlage einer ‚Text-Anthropologie' des Alten Testaments

Prof. Dr. Jan Christian Gertz  Dr. Friedrich-Emanuel Focken


The members of sub-project C02 reconstruct the discourse on production and reception of script-bearing artefacts in Ancient Israel and Early Judaism (8th century BCE – 2nd century CE). In doing so, they shed light on the actual process of script-related practices.

A number of texts in the Old Testament deals explicitly with the handling of script-bearing artefacts. These texts are so-called explicit metatexts. Relating to literary history the research during the first project term focused on the older of these texts.

For the second project term the sub-project is divided into two separate studies. The analysis in Unterprojekt 1 now looks into the younger of the explicit metatexts in the Old Testament. Additionally, it expands its research to explicit metatexts found in manuscripts that were excavated in the Judean Desert, mainly in caves close to the settlement called Khirbet Qumran. The manuscripts date back to a time from the 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century CE. This makes them the oldest substantially preserved script-bearing artefacts of the Jewish culture.

Unterprojekt 2 focusses on the poetical and liturgical manuscripts found in the Judean Desert. Those texts do not contain explicit statements on the handling of script-bearing artefacts. There are, however, many self-referential passages which address instructions for the (intended) reception of the texts. Being, therefore, implicit, self-referential metatexts, they apply to the discourse on script-related practices.

By expanding the field of study in the second project term the methodological focus has to be realigned. During the previous project term and in cooperation with other sub-projects the researchers refined the methodology of metatext-analysis. This methodology is now to be applied to the preserved manuscripts from the Judean Desert. Furthermore, these manuscripts are studied by means of the praxeologically-oriented, artefact-based scriptural analysis. Those two methods are well established practices in the Collaborative Research Centre 933. As a third step, the sub-project adds an analysis of textual pragmatics on the implicit, self-referential metatexts.

This approach aims at the description of the relation between humans and text in the sense of a textual anthropology: On the one hand, the process of script-related practices is reconstructed by means of the praxeologically-oriented, artefact-based scriptural analysis – insofar as the fragmentary character of the artefacts allows such an analysis. On the other hand, consequences for the process of script-related practices can be deduced from the results of the metatext-analysis. Finally, the analysis of textual pragmatics interprets signals within the texts that indicate script-related practices. This methodological trinity enables the researchers to analyse and describe fictitious and actual scribal practices and the use of script-bearing artefacts in Early Judaism.


Subprojects of the 3rd Funding Period

A01 A02 A03 A05 A06 A08 A09 A10 A11 A12 B01 B04 B09 B10 B13 B14 B15 C05 C07 C08 C09 C10 INF Ö2 Z



Completed Subprojects

A01 A03 A04 B02 B03 B06 B07 B11 B12 C01 C02 C03 C04 C06 IGK Ö1



Members of the CRC

Contact & Imprint