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Name: Joseph Scales

PhD: Theology and Religion

Thesis Title: Religious Identity and Spatiality in Ancient Galilee


Thesis Description:

My thesis focuses on the interaction between Jewish religious identity during the Second Temple period and the space around these ancient people. I am particularly interested in how this interplay functioned and manifested itself in ancient Galilee, between the 2nd century BCE and 2nd century CE. During this time, Galilee shifted between Hellenistic kingdom’s control, Iturean influence, Hasmonean hegemony, Herodian rulership, and Roman dominion. Areas of study that often cross over with my research interests include studies on: Jewish identity; Hellenism and Judaism; variety in ancient Jewish religious attitudes; Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms; archaeology of the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods.


Supervisors: Karen Wenell, Charlotte Hempel, Gareth Sears (UoB)



"The Limits of Evidence: The Miqveh as an Indicator of Jewish Purity Practices in Second Temple Period Galilee" in Purity in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity: Proceedings of the Tenth Schwerte Qumran Conference, 10th-12th February 2019. Edited by Laura von Bartenwerffer, Lutz Doering, and Jörg Frey. WUNT. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming.

“The Linguistic Connection between Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the “Abomination of Desolation” in the Greek Translations of the Book of Daniel,” ZAW 131.1 (2019): 105-112.

Student Trip Report on Research Visit to Galilee in Strata 36 -



Review of Krause, Andrew R. Synagogues in the Works of Flavius Josephus: Rhetoric, Spatiality, and First-Century Jewish Institutions. Brill, 2017 -

Review of Safrai, Ze’ev. Seeking out the Land: Land of Israel Traditions in Ancient Jewish, Christian and Samaritan Literature (200 BCE–400 CE). Brill, 2018 -

Review of Palmer, Carmen. Converts in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Gēr and Mutable Ethnicity. Brill, 2018 - SOTS Book List 2019, 215.

Review of Berthelot, Katell. In Search of the Promised Land? The Hasmonean Dynasty between Biblical Models and Hellenistic Diplomacy. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2018 -


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

Second Temple Early Career Academy (STECA) - A virtual common room to support early career researchers wherever they are based (


Paper to be presented at SBL November 2019

Paper presented at the 10th Schwerte Qumrantagung (10th February 2019)

Paper presented at The University of Nottingham's Department of Theology and Religious Studies Biblical Seminar (26th October 2018)

Paper presented at ISBL - Place, Space and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World (2nd August 2018)

Conference co-organizer, The Midlands's Ancient Israel and Beyond - Borders and Boundaries in Ancient Israel: Territory, Nationality and Identity (Conference 5th-6th June 2018)

Paper presented at Borders and Boundaries (5th June 2018)

Paper presented at the EABS Graduate Symposium (23rd-25th March 2018)



Seminars in Introduction to Greek and Roman History (Autumn 2018 - Spring 2019)

Seminars in Understanding Ancient Societies (Autumn 2018)

The Bible and Sacred Space (Postgraduate seminars, Spring 2018)

Access to Birmingham Tutor (Summer 2018, 2019)

Realising Opportunities Tutor (Summer 2019)

Supply teacher and TA in various secondary, primary and SEN schools, Nottingham and surrounding area (September 2016-July 2017)


Other Research Interests:

  • Judaism during Antiquity
  • Roman Imperialism
  • Hellenism
  • Hebrew Bible and other ancient Jewish writings
  • Purity and Identity
  • Sacred Space
  • Archaeology of Palestine

For any information please email me. I have skills in Biblical Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, academic editing, and archaeological dig experience.

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