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Title: Performing the Eschaton
Subtitle: Apotropaic Performance in the Liturgy of the War Scroll
Author(s): KRAUSE, Andrew R.
Journal: Revue de Qumran
Volume: 30    Issue: 1   Date: numéro 111, 2018   
Pages: 27-46
DOI: 10.2143/RQ.30.1.3284910

Abstract :
From the earliest periods in the study of the War Scroll (1QM), scholars have noted clear liturgical elements. Subsequent generic discussion has revolved around whether this long and well-preserved text was intended as a liturgical handbook or a manual for an eschatological battle with the enemies of the Qumran Movement. But why must we choose one or the other, even at the level of individual passages? This text not only evinces direct adjuration practices (e.g., curses in column XIII) and non-prophylactic elements such as ritual choreography, it conceived of its ritual space in a way that corresponds with what we find in other rites of affliction from Qumran. This movement already believed that its liturgical life found its performative context in the apocalyptically-defined presence of angels and the divine, so liturgical warfare at their sides should be at least considered. Thus, battling with spiritual and political forces through prayer and liturgy was not merely a future goal and activity, but rather something to be enacted regularly and in a manner that is congruent with the movement’s apotropaic practices. Such designation will also help to clarify the means and methods of Qumran apotropaic practice, in other rites of affliction.

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