Date of Award
Alison Schofield, Ph.D.
Marked by two significant water crossings, the Hebrew Bible establishes the wilderness period in the Pentateuch as a liminal period marking rites of passage for the Israelites. Using a narrative critical approach and an anthropological understanding of liminality, this paper shows that Moses was depicted with an abundance of liminal characteristics and these made him the ultimate transitional tool for God to use in the maturation rites of his people. Further, known Essene beliefs and the Dead Sea Scrolls, the texts of the religious community that inhabited the site of Qumran in the latter half of the second temple period, support this reading of a liminal Moses. By reentering liminal space and placing great importance on ritual purity, the inhabitants of Qumran sought once again to produce a liminal period to prepare for the imminent arrival of a cosmic battle and establishment of a new world age and therefore Moses was the perfect liminal figure with whom they associated.
Krouwer, David J., "Moses and Liminality" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 348.
Received from ProQuest
David J. Krouwer