Theology and Justice in the Prophets (P/G)

Field: Old Testament
Unit Code(s): BA9700T/BA9709T
Unit value: 24 points
Level: Postgraduate Elective
Delivery mode: Face-to-face and Online
Prerequisites: BA8000T/BA8009T Introduction to the Old Testament or equivalent
Content: In this unit students will study the phenomenon of Israelite prophecy in its ancient West Asian (Near Eastern) context. Each instance of a difference in justice and theodicy themes will be studied within individual literary prophetic booksand prophetic characters’ narrative appearances. Emphasis is on justice issues in Amos and Hosea, and theological themes more generally in Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel. Consideration will be given to the relevance of these texts in the global context.
Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of prophecy as it appeared in ancient West Asia (Near East)
  • appraise key points and historical background of the prophetic literature and traditions of ancient Israel 
  • apply a range of biblical reading methodologies and approaches to selected prophetic texts
  • critically analyse and exegete a specific prophetic text
  • articulate and evaluate key prophetic themes and theologies
  • demonstrate critical evaluation of secondary sources/resources for the preparation and construction of an exegetical essay. 
  • 3,000-word exegetical essay (50%)
  • 1,000-word report (15%)
  • Presentation, equivalent to 1,000 words (20%)
  • Tutorial (face-to-face) or forum (online), equivalent to 1,000 words (15%)
Recommended Reading:

*recommended for purchase

Anderson, Gary A. Sin: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.

Baltzer, Klaus. Deutero-Isaiah: A Commentary on Isaiah 40-55. Edited by Peter Machinist. Translated by Margaret Kohl. Hermeneia: Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001.

Barton, John. Oracles of God: Perceptions of Ancient Prophecy in Israel after the Exile. London: Darton, Longman, and Todd, 2007.

Block, Daniel.The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 25-48.New International Commentary on theOld Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998.

Doan, William and Terry Giles. Prophets, Performance and Power. New York: T & T Clark, 2005.

Dube Shomanah, Musa W., Grant Me Justice! HIV/Aids and Gender Readings Of The Bible. Edited by Musa W. Dube and Musimbi Kanyoro. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2004.

Houston, Walter J.  Contending for Justice: Ideologies and Theologies of Social Justice in the Old Testament. London: T & T Clark, 2006.

Lundbom, Jack R. The Hebrew Prophets: An Introduction. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010.

Robinson, Bernard. “Jeremiah’s New Covenant: Jer 31, 31-34.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament15 22 (2001): 181-204.

Sweeney, Marvin A. The Prophetic Literature. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2005.