Charlotte Hempel

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

I have published widely on the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the Damascus Document, the Community Rule, 4QMMT, and a host of smaller though equally intriguing and often under researched rules and legal texts. More recently I have explored the narrowing gap between the emerging Hebrew Bible an and the Dead Sea Scrolls in studies exploring, for instance, the relationship of wisdom and law in the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. I have also addressed the question of literacy at Qumran, revisited the account of meals in the Scrolls, and made a case for the distinctive scholastic profile of Qumran Cave 4.

You can find out more on my AHRC funded Leadership Fellowship here: Ezra's Legacy and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Law and Narratives of Exclusion.


I grew up in Germany and after two years of study at the University of Mainz I discovered the bright lights of London - mainly those in the now sadly defunct Embankment Library of King's College on the Strand! I have since felt very much at home in this country. I graduated from King's with a BA in 1991 and a PhD in 1995.

My first academic appointment was as Edward Cadbury Research Fellow in this department after which I moved to Cambridge to take up a Sutasoma Research Fellowship at Lucy Cavendish College. From Cambridge my husband and I moved to the US with a young family where my research continued to thrive, for some time in affiliation with the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park. I returned to Birmingham in 2005 as a Birmingham Fellow.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Hebrew Bible
Second Temple Judaism
Dead Sea Scrolls

Current and recent doctoral theses supervised include:

1. A Jungian Approach to the Dead Sea Scrolls
2. Revitalization in Judea: An Anthropological Study of the Damascus Document
3. A Contextualized approach to the Hebrew Dead Sea Scrolls Containing Exodus
4. The Qumran Wisdom Texts and the Gospel of John (co-supervised with Karen Wenell and Gareth Sears, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology)
5. The Significance of Selah in the Psalter
6. Encountering Evil: Apotropaic Magic in the Dead Sea Scrolls
7. Galilean Religious Identity in the 1st century BCE (co-supervised with Karen Wenell and Gareth Sears, Classics and Ancient History)
8. Is Wisdom Dead? Reconceptualising Wisdom in Light of the Maskil Figure at Qumran (co-supervised with Hugh Houghton)
9. Before the Bible: Ezekiel Traditions from the Corpus of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Light of 4QPseudo-Ezekiel
10. Dualisms at Qumran and Beyond (co-supervised with Andrew Perrin, Trinity Western University, Langley, BC, Canada)
11. Liturgical and Ritualised Warfare in the War Scroll and Related War Texts
12. The Function of Metaphor in the Depictions of Disability in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls (co-supervised with Candida Moss and Jeanette Littlemore)
13. Expressing Power in the Song of Songs: Nature, Gender and Royalty