What does the Bible actually say about slavery, homosexuality, abortion, immigration, women’s roles, and more? In this course, we will discuss the ways in which the Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures have been used to support movements of liberation and social justice as well as to support and justify oppressive and violent systems such as slavery, income disparity, sexism, homophobia, racism, and xenophobia. By situating biblical verses within their literary, cultural, and historical context, we will dismantle oppressive and kyriarchal readings. The overarching ethic of both the Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures is liberation and social justice. However, this ethic has been obscured by oppressive readings which fail to account for context. This course will equip students with tools for countering systems of oppression through critical contextual readings of the sources, as well as by introducing intersectional feminist, postcolonial, queer, and ecological methodologies to “de-weaponize” Scripture. Students will use these hermeneutical tools to develop “flipped scripts” that speak to their own contexts. This approach will provide students with the ability to use the Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures to breathe strength, life, and love into those who have been the target of judgment, marginalization, and violence as well as to reclaim these sacred texts as a critical resource for liberation and social justice.
The format is asynchronous lecture/synchronous zoom discussion. Lectures will be posted to voicethread each week and online Zoom session participation is mandatory and will be primarily for group discussion of the lecture and the readings. Please note that this course will address topics such as slavery, rape, and other potentially triggering topics. The course is intended for M.Div., MASC.
Prerequisite suggested: Intro to the Hebrew Bible and/or Intro to Christian Scriptures.
Relates to Thresholds: 2. Prophetic Witness and Work 3. Sacred Text and Interpretation 4. History of Dissenting Traditions and the Thea/ological Quest and MFC Competency 3. Spiritual Development for Self and Others.
Enrollment max: 20. Auditors excluded.