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The Book of Judges and Contemporary Religious Life
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.
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.
Grade based on quality of classroom engagement and written work.