Welcome to my website! My name is James M. Tucker. I am a Ph.D candidate at the University of Toronto, in the collaborative doctoral program. This means that I am an academic member of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. My research focuses on the transmission and development of law and legal interpretation from the Iron Age into the Second Temple and Rabbinic era.
My dissertation, From Ink Traces to Ideology: Material, Text, and Composition of Qumran Community Rule Manuscripts takes up a careful analysis of a central group of texts that were discovered in 1947 in the northwest regions of the Dead Sea, commonly known as Qumran. One of these scrolls (1Q28) is among the few scrolls that was discovered nearly in tact. Several other copies were discovered, but are very fragmentary. A comparison of these scrolls and their compositional development opens an important window into the issues concerning legal disputes, developments, and legal authority in the Second Jewish Commonwealth. I am currently working to revise my thesis for publication.
As a specialist of Jewish law and legal interpretation, I work at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in the international project, Scripta Qumranica Electronica. I am currently working on a new critical edition of the Damascus Document.