The Book of Judges and Contemporary Religious Life

REL507
Fall 2016
TBA
Area: 
Area I
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course explores a neglected biblical book filled with violence, anti-heroes, and fractured folktales in order to wrest theological and ethical insights for contemporary communities of faith. Moving between a detailed examination of the translated text and the phenomenon of orality in ancient and modern expressions, the following topics, among others, are considered: the human body as a controlling metaphor in biblical meaning-making, gender, domestic and martial violence, the emergence of literature from its original oral matrix, and the function of that portion of scripture known as Judges in a centuries-long quest by ancient Israel to tell its story, and the corresponding millennial-long quest by Jews and Christians to interpret that story.

Background Expected: 

None.

Course Requirements: 

Attendance, weekly readings of primary and secondary sources (50 pages or so weekly), two papers (10-12 double-spaced pages) involving scholarly research and personal reflection.

Basis of Evaluation: 

Grade based on quality of classroom engagement and written work.