Stefan Schorch

My project analyzes the impact of paratexts on the perception of Pentateuch manuscripts and their reading within the Samaritan culture. The Samaritan manuscript culture is ancient but still alive and has been preserved within the Samaritan community until today. Literary and visual artwork is an extremely common feature in these manuscripts, but its function and impact have not been determined. The fact that these paratexts generally diminish the readability of the manuscript rather than improving it demonstrates that they do not serve to make the written record more accessible. Preliminary studies suggest that, instead, the paratexts are crucial for creating the experience of a holy text, linking the reader to the historical depth and the actual meaning of its transmission within the community and increasing its appreciation.