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Moses Gaster and the Samaritans

6:30 pm, 19 October 2017

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Katharina Keim

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Thursday October 19th
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IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF ENGLAND

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Moses Gaster (1856-1939), a former President of the Jewish Historical Society of England, was a pioneering scholar of Samaritanism. His interest in Samaritan language, religion, and culture led him to take up a 30-year correspondence (1906-1934) with the Samaritan community of Nablus, whom he saw as valuable sources for ancient tradition. It is through this correspondence that Gaster did much of his primary research, sending the Priests with whom he was in contact questionnaires about Samaritan religious belief and practice. The correspondence was also the mechanism by which Gaster was able to amass a wide-ranging and important collection of Samaritan manuscripts and ephemera, and the letters throw important light on their provenance. This lecture will consider the diversity of items in Gaster's collection, and evaluate its importance for Samaritan studies today.

Katharina Keim is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester. Her current research focuses on the Gaster Samaritan manuscripts, archives, and ephemera at the John Rylands Library. She is preparing an online catalogue of Gaster's correspondence with the Samaritan community, as well as several articles relating to her research on the collection.

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Drinks reception from 6.30pm in the foyer

Lecture 7pm in the Gavin de Beer room, Anatomy Building

University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

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