Academic Programs 
      

Reading Judges for Our Time (SC–627)
Winter/Spring 2010

Framed between the narratives of the conquest of the establishment of monarchy, the book of Judges gives conflicting accounts of how ancient Israelites came to occupy the land. There are other issues in the book that need attention in light of ideological, political, cultural, and religious disputes that are raging in our times. This course will identify and examine some of these concerns in Judges and reflect and engage them with issues that need our utmost attention today.

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 26, Feb. 23, March 16, April 13 and May 4

Dr. Uriah Kim

Uriah Kim
Professor of Hebrew Bible

Contact Information:
phone: 
(860) 509-9564
email: ukim@hartsem.edu


Course Syllabus



Course Objectives

  1. Through this course the students will become more familiar with the content and the historical context of the Book of Judges.
  2. The students will examine their own contexts and critical issues of our time that are related to Judges.
  3. The students will engage with “newer” approaches to interpreting the Bible.
  4. The students will write a term paper in consultation with the class.

Requirements & Grades:

  1. Class Presentations: Session 2 to 5 (10% each; total 40% toward the final grade); an outline or a narrative description of each presentation is due on the day of presentation.
  2. Research Paper: 15-20 double-spaced pages in length, due May 18, two weeks after the final class session (60% toward the final grade).

Books

  • Mieke Bal, Death and Dissymmetry: The Politics of Coherence in the Book of Judges (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989); I have the library copy; I’ll put it on reserve in time for the class.
  • Walter Brueggemann, The Land (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977)
  • Ann E. Killebrew, Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005)
  • J. Clinton McCann, Judges. Interpretation Commentary Series. Louisville: John Knox Press, 2002
  • J. Maxwell Miller and John H. Hayes, A History of Ancient Israel and Judah (Second Edition; Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006); the Library will have the first edition on reserve
  • Daniel Patte et al., eds., Global Bible Commentary (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004); we will look at one chapter from this book
  • Regina M. Schwartz, The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998)
  • Gale Yee, ed., Judges and Method (Second Edition; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007) [if you’re purchasing a copy, make sure it’s a Second Edition]

Class Schedule

Meeting 1: January 26 Introduction to the Course and Judges

Reading Assignment
• McCann, pp. 1-25
• Miller and Hayes, pp. 84-118 [or, from the first edition, pp. 80-119]
• Global Bible Commentary, pp. 74-86
• Yee, pp. 1-18

Session 1: 9:00 – 10:30 am
Introduction to the course: expectations, assignments, requirements
Introduction to hermeneutics and methods [Yee]

Break: 10:30 – 10:45

Session 2: 10:45 – 12:00
Introduction to the historical context of Judges [Miller and Hayes]
Introduction to the Book of Judges [McCann]

Working Lunch: 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Session 3: 1:00 – 2:30
Discussion of one contextual interpretation [Global Bible Commentary]

Break: 2:30 – 2:45

Session 4: 2:45 – 4:00
The format, presentations, and reading assignments for the next four meetings

Meeting 2: February 23 Judges 1 – 5
Religion and Violence

Reading Assignment:
• McCann, pp. 27-60
• Yee, pp. 19-45 [Narrative], 115-138 [Deconstructive]
• Regina Schwartz, The Curse of Cain

Session 1: 9:00 – 10:30 am
Reading the Text [Judges 1-5 and McCann]

Break: 10:30 – 10:45

Session 2: 10:45 – 12:00
Examining Methods [Yee]

Working Lunch: 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Session 3: 1:00 – 2:30
Exploring the Issue [Regina Schwartz]

Break: 2:30 – 2:45

Session 4: 2:45 – 4:00
Student Presentation: contexts, issues, and texts


Meeting 3: March 16 Judges 6 – 9
Peoples and Nationalism

Reading Assignment:
• McCann, pp. 61-75
• Yee, pp. 46-64 [Social-Scientific], 183-201 [Gender]
• Killebrew, Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity

Session 1: 9:00 – 10:30 am
Reading the Text [Judges 6-9 and McCann]

Break: 10:30 – 10:45

Session 2: 10:45 – 12:00
Examining Methods [Yee]

Working Lunch: 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Session 3: 1:00 – 2:30
Exploring the Issue [Killebrew]

Break: 2:30 – 2:45

Session 4: 2:45 – 4:00
Student Presentation: method, paper proposal, bibliography


Meeting 4: April 13 Judges 10 – 16
Women and Power

Reading Assignment:
• McCann, pp. 76-116
• Yee, pp. 90-114 [Structuralist], 202-236 [Cultural]
• Mieke Bal, Death and Dissymmetry

Session 1: 9:00 – 10:30 am
Reading the Text [Judges 10-16 and McCann]

Break: 10:30 – 10:45

Session 2: 10:45 – 12:00
Examining Methods [Yee]

Working Lunch: 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Session 3: 1:00 – 2:30
Exploring the Issue [Bal]

Break: 2:30 – 2:45

Session 4: 2:45 – 4:00
Student Presentation: thesis and outline


Meeting 5: May 4 Judges 17 – 21
Land and Colonialism

Reading Assignment:
• McCann, pp. 117-139
• Yee, pp. 65-89 [Feminist], 138-160 [Ideological], 161-182 [Postcolonial]
• Brueggemann, The Land

Session 1: 9:00 – 10:30 am
Reading the Text [Judges 17-21 and McCann]

Break: 10:30 – 10:45

Session 2: 10:45 – 12:00
Examining Methods [Yee]

Working Lunch: 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Session 3: 1:00 – 2:30
Exploring the Issue [Brueggmann]

Break: 2:30 – 2:45

Session 4: 2:45 – 4:00
Student Presentation: revised outline and thesis; updated bibliography; report on the work done up to this point

Term paper due: May 18

 

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