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Sacrifice, praise and wisdom

Level 5 - DT2014-03

This module will enable students to build upon and develop an existing awareness and understanding of the field of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament scholarship.

This module will enable students to build upon and develop an existing awareness and understanding of the field of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament scholarship by means of a study of three core texts studied in English, namely:

  • The Book of Leviticus
  • The Psalms
  • The Wisdom Literature of Job, Ecclesiastes and Proverbs.

Topics covered

Main topics of the module include:

  • Method in biblical study

Leviticus

  • The shape of the book of Leviticus: a meaningful organisation?
  • The concept of ‘holiness’: Purity and Impurity in the book of Leviticus
  • Understanding Ritual in the book of Leviticus and contemporary issues 

Psalms

  • The poetry and shape of the canonical book of Psalms
  • Psalms in worship

Wisdom

  • Wisdom Literature in Israel and the Ancient Near East
  • Proverbs: linking creation and moral order
  • Job and the limits of theodicy
  • Ecclesiastes: A Crisis of Wisdom?

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be expected to be able to: 

Knowledge and understanding 

  • Gain critical insight into significant historical, literary and theological issues evoked by a study of this material;
  • Recognise and engage with the variety of interpretations of the texts under scrutiny.       

Intellectual and cognitive skills 

  • Critically evaluate a number of approaches to the interpretation of the texts under consideration;
  • Undertake a critical exegesis of the set texts in English.

Practical and transferable skills  

  • Select and organize material from a range of primary and secondary sources; 
  • Show an ability to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments ;
  • Produce clear, well-structured written work; 
  • Manage their own learning, including taking part in discussion forums and working effectively to deadlines.

Assessment

A two thousand-word essay (40%) and a 1.5-hour unseen written examination (60%).