Professor Charlotte Hempel BA, PhD (KCL)

Photograph of Dr Charlotte Hempel

Department of Theology and Religion
Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism
Director, College of Arts and Law Graduate School
University of Birmingham Site Director, Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership

Contact details

ERI Building Room 209
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My main research interests are the Dead Sea Scrolls, and I began my doctoral work at King's College London in the Qumran glasnost year 1991 when access to all the unpublished material was granted to the world of scholarship at large. Because of the sheer scale of new material now available, the opening of access to all the unpublished texts had, in practical terms, a huge impact on scholarship, comparable almost to the impact of the initial discoveries. I have published extensively on the Damascus Document, the Community Rule, 4QMMT, and other Qumran texts. Most recently I have been exploring the ways in which the socio-religious milieu that gave us the Scrolls shares much more with the social matrix that gave us the emerging Hebrew Bible than customarily supposed. In 2013-2014 I worked on a project funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship entitled: The Development of Complex Literary Traditions in the Second Temple Period.

I enjoy playing an active part in the scholarly guilds of Scrolls researchers and Hebrew Bible scholars as Executive Editor of Dead Sea Discoveries and President Elect for 2016 of the British Association of Jewish Studies. I am a  member of the International Advisory Board of the Theological Dictionary of the Qumran Texts the steering committee of the Qumran Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Society for Old Testament Study, and the Advisory Board of Henoch. From 2007-2011 I served as Reviews Editor for the Journal of Jewish Studies.

Until 2016 I was the host scientist-in charge for the EU funded Marie Curie Fellowship of Dr. Angela Harkins and co-investigator with Isabel Wollaston on a three year educational project Jewish Heritage and Culture: Birmingham Perspectives which serves as a framework for hosting regular high quality education programmes and public lectures in Jewish Studies.

I was elected to membership of the AHCR Peer Review Council in 2014 and regularly peer review research projects both internationally and in the UK. Finally, together with Helen Abbott I am the University’s lead for the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.


  • PhD 1995 King's College London
  • BA Hons 1991 King's College London


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.

Postgraduate supervision

  • Hebrew Bible
  • Second Temple Judaism
  • Dead Sea Scrolls

Charlotte is currently supervising seven doctoral students on the following projects:

  • A Jungian Approach to the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Beyond the Yahad – The Foundational Triangle of 1QSa, CD and 1QM
  • The Remnant of Israel. Qumran Social Identity in the Light of Exegesis and Anthropology
  • The Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Understanding the History of the Textual Transmission of the Hebrew Bible
  • The Qumran Wisdom Texts and the Gospel of John (co-supervised with Dr. Karen Wenell)
  • The Significance of Selah in the Psalter
  • Demonology in the Dead Sea Scrolls


  • The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hebrew Bible - the Narrowing Gap
  • The Communities behind the Qumran Library and the Complex Literary Growth of Major Texts

Video: Charlotte talks about her research into the Dead Sea Scrolls



  • ed. with George G. Brooke, The T. &T.  Clark Companion to the Dead Sea Scrolls, London: T. & T. Clark,  forthcoming


Article and Chapters in Books

Dictionary entries


For a complete list see the bibliography available at the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls


The Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew Bible, Old Testament

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