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This course will pursue such connections by studying psalms as part of the Old Testament and ways in which psalms impact the life of the early Christian writings in the New Testament. We will explore different ""types"" of psalms, moods of sadness and joy, hope and disappointment in them.

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Other literary questions, including their ""ordering"" in the Book of Psalms will contribute to our study. Course will explore spirituality of the Psalter by considering: relationship to individual and communal prayer, worship, music, and the Sunday lectionary, and history of Psalm reception in Jewish and Christian communities of faith.

Course is designed primarily for ministry students 'praxis' course for J. This course introduces students to literary, socio-historical, and theological study of Genesis through 2 Kings plus Chronicles the Pentateuch, Deuteronomistic History and Chronicler's History. Students learn exegesis by engaging in a series of exegetical workshops and developing an exegetical study of one text they have chosen. This course explores scriptural stories, histories, and interreligious issues concerning women across the three great traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

It considers common and distinctive topics that characterize these religious cultures and how they might be addressed in the context of dialogue among the women of these communities. Finally, it offers a two week immersion experience in Jerusalem, Israel during January whereby students visit the significant religious sites associated with their study. During this time they will participate in learning opportunities with Jewish, Moslem and Christian women living there.

A minimum number of students is required for the immersion component with a maximum of 12 students. Interview with the professor required for registration. This position has been vacant since Research and Teaching Both chairs cover the entire range of subjects in Old Testament studies.

The academic work of the department reflects the individual research profiles of the two chair holders. The major focus of the chair of Reinhard Kratz is on the history of the literature and theology of the Old Testament, especially the prophetic literature.


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Particular emphasis is placed on the history of ancient Israel and Judaism in the Persian and Hellenistic periods. Affiliated to the chair is a department for Qumran studies. The research interests of the second chair R.


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Hanhart, R. There are other constraints on adequately "introducing" the Old Testament, constraints that cannot be remedied by being sure other electives will later be offered. The two semester basic course can no longer do all it is asked to do because students simply don't have the sort of general familiarity with the content of the Bible they once had.

This leads to a further complication.

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Old Testament Studies

Most critical method was predicated on students possessing a working knowledge of—if not a confessional commitment to—the Bible in its present form, a form that was then deconstructed by means of historical tools. The goal was to recast the Bible's narrative into new and different bins involving hypothetical authors, editors and communities. This made for a challenging, sometimes threatening, always critically imaginative two-semester journey through the Old Testament, beginning with the rudimentary antecedents of the Jahwist and continuing through to portions of Daniel and the last chapters of Zechariah.

But if one takes away a working knowledge of the present form of the text, a different effect is achieved. One gets all the critical conclusions, but the genuine push-pull of movement from confessed text to historical reconstruction is differently transmitted and received. Why are we doing this at all?

The Changing Face of Old Testament Studies – Religion Online

Students lack a command of the general content of the Bible, and yet at the same time they are restless with gaining familiarity with this basic content for its own sake. They are also restless with critical method or with newer literary alternatives—unless, of course, they are accessible and directly relevant to modern issues.

Fackre spoke of the commendable concern to link systematics to modem issues; my sense of biblical studies is that the greatest danger is the opposite: not appreciating the simple foreignness of the Bible and its world. I don't mean its historical distance or its cultural distinctiveness only, but its theological edge—what Barth meant when he once referred to the "strange world" of the Bible. Older critical method, for all its deficiencies, raised the stakes in proper biblical interpretation in ways that were threatening and immediately felt by most students.

I'm not sure that's true any more. For many the Old Testament is simply old, and therefore "out of touch. One senses that today readers are confronting the world of the Old Testament that is, the world presented by the text in its present form for the first time and not being altogether sure they like what they see; or, if they like what they see, not being sure what all the historical-critical commotion is about to begin with. In short, today's readership is very different from the one teachers confronted at midcentury.

Looking back at Brevard Childs's essay on biblical theology Biblical Theology in Crisis , one finds it hard to comprehend how powerful the Biblical Theology Movement was in the s and '50s—and how one could have spoken of a crisis of truly momentous importance, one that concentrated so much energy and debate.

Oudtestamentische Studiën, Old Testament Studies

What we now have is a more mundane affair: a crisis in approach and method of the most basic sort. Its effects are more immediate in terms of curriculum, institutional context, and the teaching of Old Testament. In a recent essay Phyllis Trible suggested that Childs's end point in his survey of the Biblical Theology Movement a date she pinpoints as was not fortuitous. It's undoubtably true that cultural factors led to the demise of the Biblical Theology Movement and, more generally, a certain historical-critical way of reading the Old Testament.

One thinks not just of feminism but also of the Vietnam war, changes in sexual values, and the decline of mainstream Protestantism and the strong pulpit associated with it. Childs had already mentioned many of these cultural factors and the role they played in what he called the "cracking of the walls" of the Biblical Theology Movement in the U. Childs, of course, described both the movement and its decline in order to pave the way for his own proposal: a biblical theology tied to canon.

One of the chief problems with Childs's approach—not usually discussed by scholars—is pedagogical and has to do with the present climate of Old Testament teaching. Childs's Introduction to the Old Testament demands that the student participate fully in the older historical-critical discussion. Ideally, the student should move from a basic grasp of the contents and narrative of the Bible, into a critical mode informed by source, form and redaction criticism, and then come to see the limitations of this movement so as finally to appreciate the insights of Childs's canonical approach.

The movement is from precritical to critical to a canonical reading that is neither of these forebears, but demands a sensitivity to them both. And yet what is lacking among most students is any deep-seated, long-nurtured, instinctive, prerational commitment to the Old Testament in its present form. What happened to Sunday school, Bible reading at home or knowing a thing by heart? Episodes of 'Mash" or "Cheers" are much better known—and loved—in their synchronic order than is the Old Testament.