An Introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls

Immerse yourself in the history behind the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ensuing publication controversy.

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Ever since their discovery in the 1940s the Dead Sea Scrolls have generated massive amounts of scholarly controversy.  Even those outside of the field of Biblical studies tend to be vaguely aware of academic scandals, Religiously motivated cover-ups and conspiracy theories. So what is it about the “most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century” that has generated so much controversy?

This course offers an introduction to some of the main issues surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls. These include: the discovery of the scrolls, the publication controversy, the archaeology, the Essene theory, and an overview of the documents themselves.

As an introduction, the course presupposes no prior knowledge of the topic, but will be of particular interest to those interested in Biblical texts, Biblical and post-Biblical history, Jewish history or the early Church.

Course outline

Session 1

The discovery of the “Dead Sea Scrolls:” 1947-1956: “The Ain Feshkah Genizah” documents. The Wadi Qumran discoveries and the Wadi Murabba’at discoveries.  The École Biblique, the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Jordanian Department of Antiquities and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Session 2

Discovery and publication: 1956-1967. French, English, Israeli and American scholarship. The growing consensus.  The Publication Controversy and resolution: 1967-1991: Middle-East politics and conspiracy theories.

Session 3

“The 1991 Revolution”: “Crisis in the Scrollery”: The consensus breaks down. “Sectually Explicit” literature from Qumran.

Session 4

The “other” Dead Sea Scrolls: Wadi Murabba’at, Nahal Hever (Se’elim), Wadi Daliyeh, Khirbet Mird and Masada. Three ancient witnesses on the “Essenes.”

Session 5

The Archaeology of Qumran. Roland De Vaux and the École Biblique (1951-1959).  “Armchair archaeology” of Qumran (1994 to present). The École Biblique, Yizhar Hirschfeld, Jurgen Zangenburg, Jodi Magness and Joan Taylor.

Session 6

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Historical Jesus, the early Church and the New Testament.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • describe the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ensuing publication controversy, and then evaluate the impact this has had on subsequent understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • analyse the religious and social factors which led to the sectarianism, and the religio-political violence, of the “Second Temple period” of Jewish history
  • evaluate the interface between textual history and Archaeological evidence
  • demonstarate a greater understanding of the social, religious and political dynamics behind the evolution of the Ancient Israelite Tradition into, both, Judaism and Christianity.

Who should attend?

This course is an introductory course designed for non-specialists. As an introduction, the course presupposes no prior knowledge of the topic, but would be of particular interest for those intersted in Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies or early Church history.

Expressive Drawing: An Introduction to Abstraction

Develop your expressive drawing style.

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Expressive drawing is a great way of shifting creativity out of the rut that life-like drawing can sometimes push us into. However finding a starting point can be daunting. This course will introduce you to new ways of approaching drawing that can lead to exciting new developments in your drawing style. The exercises are designed for the novice, yet are flexible enough to be taken on by the more confident. A materials list will be provided prior to the start of the course.

Course Outline

  • Expressive Line, Expressive Mass – Using line and mass to respond to non-objective prompts as a starting point for developing an abstract visual vocabulary.
  • Drawing on Our Senses – Exercises designed to use our other senses to find new approaches to drawing.
  • Intuitive Drawing – Using symbols developed in our previous drawing exercises line and mass exercises to explore ideas about ourselves and our creativity.
  • Colour as Emotion – Responding and developing to our drawings and developing a final” piece.”

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course students will be able to:

  • develop their drawing beyond the figurative
  • identify new means of generating ideas
  • demonstrate new modes of expression and depiction
  • incorporate a variety of mediums into their works.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for those interested in taking their drawing beyond the purely representational and expanding upon their understanding of drawing techniques, approaches and methods. Importantly, the exercises are designed to push creativity and expression so can be of benefit to any skill level.

VOICE IN ACTION: Understanding Your Voice and Using it Effectively

O, how wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of the soul!’ – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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Have you ever wondered how you can develop a richer, more flexible and interesting voice? Would you like to speak with greater confidence? Does your voice feel tired or strained after speaking for long periods of time? Voice in Action explores the basic tools of voice production, and how you can use these to your communication advantage, both in your personal and professional life.

Limited to 12 participants

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course learners will be able to speak with increased confidence in public; express themselves with greater confidence; understand the anatomy and physiology of the voice; project their voice effectively and safely; demonstrate an awareness of how to keep their voice healthy and functioning well; express themselves clearly and articulately; express themselves with greater vocal strength, persuasiveness and commitment.

Course outline

Practical application of the concepts and information introduced during Voice in Action is vital to the learning and success of the participant.

A close interaction between theory and practice is encouraged and enjoyable and accessible exercises encourage an exploration of the following topics:

How the Voice Works: A detailed and practical exploration of the anatomy and physiology of the voice, and how you can use this to your advantage

Relaxation Techniques: Exercises to assist the release of unnecessary physical and muscular tension, which may be impeding vocal power

Fundamental Breath work: Exploring the connection with your breath as a foundation for sound. This also forms the basis for developing vocal resonance

Pitch, Pace and Volume: Three of the most important tools for any speaker. We’ll take a look at how the use of these can improve your vocal variety and flexibility, thereby increasing the chance of capturing the attention of your listener

Articulation: An appreciation and application of clear articulation (otherwise known as ‘good diction’) assists in clarity of communication. Ensure that WHAT you’re saying is supported by HOW you are saying it!

Who should attend?

This course is designed for those who wish to release the full range and vitality of their voice. A close interaction between theory and practice is encouraged and participants will be introduced to the basic tools of voice production. As a result, this course will appeal to those interested in improving their personal communication style as well as those who are required to use their voice professionally (teachers, barristers, contact centre operators, trainers, auctioneers etc.).

Professional English

This course teaches formal written English for native speakers, particularly focusing upon grammar and punctuation.

Utilising an exploratory teaching method, it illuminates descriptive patterns of accepted usage of English, rather than preaching prescriptive ‘rules of acceptable usage’.

Course outline

Throughout, the course focuses on helping native speakers of English to activate their own latent understanding of the language, deriving rules from what they already know. It explains dangling participles, the use and abuse of apostrophes, and the difference between a sentence and a fragment.

Session 1

The first session introduces functional terminology for the discussion of grammar and sentence structure. The session also covers the concepts of simple and complex sentences. Participants thus learn when a noun is not a noun, why How to say? does not constitute a sentence, and how to parse.

Session 2

The second session addresses the twenty-four basic tense forms of English, as well as various complex parts of sentences, including different clause types. This knowledge enables participants to differentiate the future perfect tense from the past continuous passive, to distinguish an adjective clause from a noun phrase, and to know when to use which rather than that.

Session 3

The third session considers adverbial and hypothetical forms, as well as certain aspects of syntactic reorganisation. By the end of this session, participants can discriminate between If I was and If I were, and can splice clauses.

Session 4

The final session covers some of the more intricate aspects of English, and utilises the participants’ comprehension of sentence structure to provide functional explanations of the operations of English punctuation. Participants are then able to identify the proper usage not only of apostrophes and commas, but also of semi-colons and colons.

As a whole, the course provides the fundamental skills for identifying correct and incorrect writing.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, learners will be able to:

  • understand the operation of English grammar
  • understand the operation of English punctuation
  • identify errors in usage
  • correct errors.

Who should attend

This course is designed for writers, editors, language teachers, and others who use English in professional situations.

What participants say

“Finally, a course that explains the workings of English language in a clear and straightforward way. There’s nothing that Greg can’t explain and it’s fun!” Donna McTavish

“An excellent course, extremely well presented and well worth attending. I found it very useful to be given the tools to explain why something was correct or incorrect in English Usage.” Barbara Smith

Peaceful Digestion – Strategies For Great Gut Health

Course description:

Cast iron stomach – some of us have one, some of us don’t. For those who don’t, eating can present some real challenges. Irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, constipation, chronic diarrhoea, and indigestion will be some of the areas this course will address. While not promising to cure your problem, this course will provide you with some strategies and ideas that may help to ease digestive discomfort and take you closer to having that cast iron stomach.

Course outline:

This course is tailored for those who have chronic digestive problems to assist with planning a healthy eating program for reducing digestive discomfort.

It will include the following topics:

  • how your digestive system works
  • the organs which may be under stress and causing discomfort and why this occurs
  • foods which may aggravate or improve function
  • healthy eating guidelines to assist in improving digestive function
  • how to plan and manage your diet to prevent nutritional losses and maintain good health.

Methods of testing for sensitivity or intolerance and how to proceed with an elimination diet will also be outlined. Suggestions for alternative foods and beverages for meals, snacks, desserts, and drinks as well as gluten free, Fodmap, and complementary medicine approaches to digestive problems will be discussed.

Learning outcomes:

On completion of the course learners will be able to:
  • explain briefly how the digestive system functions
  • how food is digested
  • recognise why common digestive problems occur
  • describe dietary and lifestyle strategies for assisting discomfort
  • list critical nutritional factors required for a healthy diet
  • critically analyse media and advertising articles regarding digestive health
  • develop awareness of preparing meals to assist in reducing digestive discomfort.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for any individual who may have an interest in this topic due to their own health problems or those of a family member, or as a personal preventative course of action.

Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology

Looking up at the sky on a clear and starry night is an awesome experience. But how do stars work and how is the universe structured?

Most of us know that the observable universe is vast but less well known is that it has a structure and an almost endless variety. This course will describe the hierarchical nature of the universe starting with stars and working up through star clusters, galaxies, clusters of galaxies and superclusters.

Along the way the variety and complexity will be described. Black holes, the big bang and other fascinating astronomical topics will also be explored.

Course outline

This course will cover the following topics:

STARS
An introduction to the different types of stars, including supernovae, variable stars and eclipsing binaries. The course will investigate important stars such as the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, and discuss the quirky and politically incorrect classification WOBAFGKMRNS.

STAR CLUSTERS
Many stars are members of groups known as clusters. These are one notch below galaxies in the hierarchy of the observable universe and contain from a few to a million or more stars. Some famous star clusters will be described and why astronomers study clusters will be outlined.

NEBULAE
Nebulae such as the Horsehead and Crab nebulae, are large expanses of gas and the birth place of most stars. We will investigate how stars are formed from nebulae.

GALAXIES
Galaxies of which there are billions come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from irregular or dwarf galaxies to large, regular elliptical and spiral galaxies. The different types will be described and how astronomers measure the distance to galaxies will be outlined.

CLUSTER OF GALAXIES
Most galaxies are members of clusters of galaxies. For example, our galaxy along with about fifty others is a member of the Local Group. The galaxies in a cluster can interact in strange and complicated ways. These interactions, including the one between our galaxy and Andromeda will be looked at.

SUPERCLUSTERS
Just as galaxies form clusters, clusters of galaxies form clusters called superclusters. The Local Group is a member of the Virgo supercluster and is predicted to be swallowed by Virgo in a few billion years.

HYPERCLUSTERS
Hyperclusters are clusters of superclusters. None have been found. However, recently alignments of galaxies called walls have been; three of these will be discussed.

COSMOLOGY
Black holes, filaments, the big bang, dark matter and the mysterious Great Attractor.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course learners will be able to:

  • understand the hierarchical nature of the Universe
  • demonstrate an appreciation of the power of gravity
  • understand how stars work
  • understand how astronomers measure the distance to stars and galaxies.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for people who have a general interest in astronomy. The course includes time to cover background material and ideas from general science. Supplementary material will be available for students who want more background.

About our program

The Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) offers access to the University’s knowledge and research, and encourages the two-way flow of ideas between the University and its many communities.

We work in partnership with academics within the University and with practitioners and organisations to develop and deliver courses, workshops, seminars, study tours and public lectures.

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning provides you with opportunities to develop your learning, learn about cutting edge research, stimulate your thinking, develop your skills, engage with important issues and debate your ideas with others.

Our programme offers choice, quality and a variety of formats. Courses are open to all learners aged 16 and over whether or not you have studied at university.

We refresh the programme on a regular basis and respond to current trends and demands.

In a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, you’ll explore new areas of personal and professional learning and gain new skills and knowledge. What better way to explore your passions and stretch your mind.

We invite you to participate in the diverse learning opportunities offered and look forward to welcoming you to the Centre for Continuing Education either as a returning student or a new lifelong learner!

Our mission

To empower local, national and international learning communities and so enhance New Zealand’s economic prosperity, cultural wealth and social well-being through leadership and innovation in research, design and delivery of lifelong learning opportunities.

Goal

The Centre for Continuing Education seeks to utilise the expertise of the University to provide effective and enjoyable educational experiences that equip learners to take better advantage of their social, educational, cultural and career opportunities.

Men and Women in History: Exploration and Scientific Discoveries

Throughout history, the greatest scientific minds have not only demystified the world with their discoveries, but helped shape how we live in it.The same can be said about those brave individuals who had the spirit of adventure and decided to explore the unknown.

This seminar series examines the lives and achievements of influential scientists and explorers in history who, often in the face of extreme scepticism or worse, have striven and succeeded in pushing back the geographical and scientific boundaries of human knowledge and understanding.

Tuesday 10 May

Robert Falcon Scott ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ 

Presented by Dr Clive Evans 
PhD

A brief introduction to the early life of Robert Falcon Scott will be followed  by coverage and analysis of his two trips south, and an examination of his relationships with individuals such as Clements Markham, Ernest Shackleton and Roald Amundsen. Particular emphasis will be placed on an analysis of his final polar journey, which saw his elevation – in death – to that of a popular hero. In the years since his death, “Scott the hero” has been debunked and revived by numerous authors, but the heroic image persists. What makes a hero? Is Scott worthy of hero status or have we been shielded from his true character?

About the presenter

Clive Evans is a biologist with a special interest in Antarctic history and science. He has visited Antarctica on numerous occasions and has lectured widely on Antarctic themes.

Tuesday 17 May

Annie Jump Cannon, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and Meghnad Saha

Presented by Dr JJ Eldridge
MA, MSci, PhD (Cambridge, FRAS, MInstP

Today we know that the stars are other Suns and that our Sun is just another star, and that they and the Universe are made mostly of hydrogen and helium. However it was early in the 20th century that scientists first began to systematically understand the stars. In this session will focus on three scientists who each supplied a key part of the puzzle. The story begins with Annie Jump Cannon attempting to classify stars into stellar types and understanding the physical reason for stars’ having different spectra. It continues with Meghnad Saha working on the quantum mechanics of gases at high temperatures, results that first indicate that a star’s type is determined by its surface temperature. Then they are used by Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin to reveal that the Sun and stars are not made of the same composition of the Earth but they and the Universe are made predominantly of hydrogen.

Annie Jump Cannon  was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme, which was the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures. She was nearly deaf throughout her career. Cannon’s determination and hard work saw her classify more stars in a lifetime than anyone else, with a total of around 500,000 stars. She also discovered 300 variable stars, five novas, and one spectroscopic binary, creating a bibliography that included about 200,000 references. Cannon could classify three stars a minute just by looking at their spectral patterns and, if using a magnifying glass, could classify stars down to the ninth magnitude, around 16 times fainter than the human eye can see

Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin was a British–American astronomer and astrophysicist who, in 1925, proposed in her Ph.D. thesis an explanation for the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium. After her doctorate, Payne studied stars of high luminosity in order to understand the structure of the Milky Way. Later she surveyed all the stars brighter than the tenth magnitude. She then studied variable stars, making over 1,250,000 observations with her assistants. This work later was extended to the Magellanic Clouds, adding a further 2,000,000 observations of variable stars. These data were used to determine the paths of stellar evolution. Her observations and analysis, with her husband, of variable stars laid the basis for all subsequent work on them.

Meghnad Saha was an Indian astrophysicist best known for his development of the Saha equation, used to describe chemical and physical conditions in stars.This equation is one of the basic tools for interpretation of the spectra of stars in astrophysics. By studying the spectra of various stars, one can find their temperature and from that, using Saha’s equation, determine the ionisation state of the various elements making up the star. Meghnad was a professor at Allahabad University from 1923 to 1938, and thereafter a professor and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Calcutta until his death in 1956. He became Fellow of the Royal Society in 1927 and was president of the 21st session of the Indian Science Congress in 1934.

About the presenter

JJ was appointed as a Lecturer of Astrophysics at The University of Auckland in 2011. JJ’s research is mainly focussed upon the evolution of stars, especially binary stars. They create numerical models of stars and then compare them to a broad range of observations. These include supernovae and their progenitors, long & short GRBs, gravitational waves and stellar populations.

In addition to my research activities JJ is also keen to participate in public understanding of science activities and gives public talks not just on their research but also how accurate science-fiction can be with titles such as: “The Science of Sci-Fi: does every planet look just like home?”

Tuesday 24 May

Beatrice Tinsley — Galactic Astronomer

Presented by Dr Nicholas Rattenbury
PhD

In this session Nicolas will introduce participants to British-born New Zealand astronomer and cosmologist Beatrice Tinsley, whose research made fundamental contributions to the astronomical understanding of how galaxies evolve, grow and die.

About the presenter

Dr Nicholas Rattenbury is a Royal Society of New Zealand Rutherford Discovery Fellow. He completed his PhD in Physics at the University of Auckland and shortly thereafter left to do post-doctoral research at Jodrell Bank Observatory, The University of Manchester. After nearly five years of research, he has worked for several years as a trainee patent attorney before returning to academia at Manchester Metropolitan University. As an RDF, Nicholas has returned to New Zealand to continue his research in astrophysics.

Tuesday 31 May

Artificial Intelligence

Presented by Ian Watson
BSc, M.Phil, MSc, PhD

alan-turing

Throughout his career Alan Turing was intrigued by the operation of the human brain. In 1950 he published a paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” that is widely regarded as the foundation of the field of Artificial Intelligence. This session will discuss the concept of intelligence and Turning’s exploratory work of the human brain that continues to be inspirational in the present day.

From Peace to War: An International History of Europe, 1815-1914

Spanning a century of global events, this course investigates the diplomatic, economic, political and cultural relations between European states, their governments and people from the Congress of Vienna that brought the Napoleonic Wars to an end to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

The Nineteenth Century was an era of profound change within and outside the European continent. This course reflects on some of those changes and asks questions about their impact on Europeans and on Europe’s place in the world. Above all, it re-evaluates the traditional historiography which argues that the “long” Nineteenth Century (1815 – 1914) was dominated by tension, crisis and war, ultimately leading to the outbreak of the First World War. Instead, it posits that the century was one in which Europeans exercised an extraordinary amount restraint towards each other, albeit not towards the rest of the world. As such, the course investigates themes of peace, war, stability, internationalism, humanitarianism, globalisation and international law and asks questions of nineteenth-century European imperialism, nationalism, industrialisation and revolution.

You will join a class which is studying History (HISTORY 238) as part of an undergraduate degree, but you will not attend tutorials, complete assignments or sit an exam – a no- stress learning opportunity. You will have online access to the course lecture notes.

Limited to 10 CCE participants.