CAS Faculty Experts Explain the Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea ScrollsThe SJU College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with SJU Alumni Association and the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, invites the university community to a faculty-led exploration of the Dead Sea Scrolls on September 24, 2012 from 6:00p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Arguably the greatest trove of ancient texts ever discovered, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the earliest copies of biblical materials that exist. They have transformed our understanding of the development of the Hebrew Bible, the history of early Judaism, and the origins of Christianity.

Dr. Phillip A. Cunningham, Dr. Allen Kerkeslager, and Dr. Bruce Wells of the Theology and Religious Studies Department will explain the significance of the scrolls and guide participants through the exhibit, which will be open exclusively for SJU that evening.

Dr. Phillip A. Cunningham, Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations,  serves as secretary of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations and manages its resource website at  A vice-president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, Dr. Cunningham has also served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Catholic-Jewish Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dr. Allen Kerkeslager, Associate Professor,  researches religions of the Ancient World with specialization in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Most of his publications focus on Judaism in Greco-Roman Egypt and they make frequent use of archaeology, papyri, and inscriptions.

Dr. Bruce Wells, Associate Professor, is the author of The Laws of Testimony in the Pentateuchal Codes (2004) and the co-author of Everyday Law in Biblical Israel (2009). He has lectured on his work at universities in Germany and Austria, as well as in the U.S, and has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany.

The evening begins with a light supper (and cash bar) on the Rooftop Deck and Conference Center at The Franklin Institute. Registration fee is $25, reduced rate parking is available; space is limited.

Event related questions? Please contact Tom Fithian in Alumni Relations at or by calling 610.660.2301
Registration questions? Please contact Patty Newby in Alumni Relations at or by calling 610.660.2997