This course is a survey of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh, as the Hebrew Bible is known in Hebrew, is a canon of literature that can be seen as a library of narrative texts, law, prophetic poetry, and wisdom literature. It holds a multitude of voices and students will explore its genres, institutions, and ideas. Students will learn basic principles of biblical interpretation as well as issues related to reception history in a variety of historical and religious contexts. There is no single “correct” interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. There are interpretations that have become dominant over time or in certain communities, but the Hebrew Bible has meant different things to different people across time and geographical location. This course will engage with the Torah, Prophets, and Writings with an emphasis on their ancient cultural, historical, and literary contexts. In addition, feminist, postcolonial, and queer methodologies will be introduced in order to equip students with liberating readings of passages that have been interpreted in order to justify violence as divinely sanctioned. By surveying a wide range of questions, interpretations, and translations, students will discover the diversity of traditions that have sprung forth from the Hebrew Bible.
This is an online Zoom synchronous course. The format is lecture/discussion. Lectures will be posted to VoiceThread each week on Populi to be watched asynchronously. Zoom session participation is mandatory and will be primarily for group discussion of the lecture and the readings. Evaluation is through reflection papers & a final project, zoom participation & watching VT lectures.
Intended for MDiv and MASC students. This course falls primarily within the following SKSM Thresholds: 2) Prophetic Witness & Work 3) Sacred Text and Interpretation and 4) History of Dissenting Traditions and Thea/ological Quest. [Enrollment max: 25. Auditors excluded.]