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Old Testament Seminar I

This seminar focuses on a particular theme drawn from the Hebrew Scriptures. Students are guided by the professor in exegetical work on selected passages, working from the Hebrew text. What does the Bible say about environmental responsibility, women’s rights, the option for the poor, and other contemporary social issues? How can the Bible inform ethical reasoning and discourse? This course aims to help students learn how to interpret the social message of the Bible. Students will be required to read at least thirty pages per session and participate in class discussions. Approaching the Psalms in an interdisciplinary way, this course explores the Psalter not just as a text to be studied but as a practice to be enfleshed. With the help of Jack Mezirow’s insights on transformative learning, Robert Kegan’s subject-object theory, and Walter Brueggemann’s categorization of the Psalms, we will try to answer how the Psalter teaches and forms us. The course is a detailed approach to Deuteronomist theology and its different stages of historical evolution. Priority will be to recognize the decisive importance of it in interpreting much of the Old Testament and, at the same time, to make direct contact with its main literary and ideological characteristics through the texts. For our research, we will have the contributions of the most representative researchers, we will necessarily start from J. Wellhausen with his work Die composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Bucher des Alten Testament (“The Composition of the Hexateuch and the Historical Books of the Old Testament”) published in 1886 and, above all, M. Noth who with his work Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien (“Studies of the History of Traditions”), published in 1943, laid the foundations for further research. Knowledge of recent research will provide a fairly complete view of a subject, such as this one, indispensable in any serious study of the Biblical text.

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