Charlotte Hempel presented one of the prestigious plenary main lectures at the 20th Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) hosted at the University of Helsinki from 5-8 August 2010. Founded in 1950 in Leiden IOSOT is an international organization to promote scholarly study in Old Testament Scripture and related fields. International congresses are held every three years, and scholars are invited only once in their career, if at all, to address the Congress in plenary sessions. The title of her lecture was "The Social Matrix that Gave Rise to the Hebrew Bible and the Scrolls." She was delighted with the enthusiastic responses she received and much encouraged to develop her latest research in this area further.

The School was also represented by our research fellow Dr. Mila Ginsburskaya who also presented a peer-reviewed paper to the affiliated meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies (IOQS). Mila's paper was entitled "Exploring Cognitive Dissonance at Qumran." Her paper was also very well received and she was invited to include it for publication in an international journal. Helsinki was the third stop for Mila this summer following papers presented in Ravenna, Italy, and Tartu, Estonia, at two further international conferences.