Ancient Israelite religions

Course Dates: 19/05/22 - 16/06/22
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Online
The study of ancient Israelite religions has seen recently an increase of interest among scholars. The Bible gives us an impression that there is one acceptable dominant religion at the exclusion of all others. However a more nuanced picture emerges as the texts often record a disjunction between and ‘official’ form of religious practice centred on monotheism and ‘popular’ forms of religions, sometimes made alongside gender lines. The course will examine the symbolic universe which we can glimpse in the Bible to help us understand a broad range of religious practices and beliefs in ancient Israel.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £48.00

Course Code: RC299

Thu, eve, 19 May - 16 Jun '22

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2644

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What is the course about?

The course aims to enabling students to understand key ideas from the symbolic religious universe of the ancient Israelite:
- The variety of religious beliefs and practices in ancient Israel;
- The complex picture of the interactions between Yahweh and the gods of Canaan;
- Ideas about rituals;
- Notions of covenant;
- The diversity of attitudes to the Temple.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

Session 1: Methodology. How do we study religious beliefs and practices in ancient Israel? Looking at texts and artefacts.
Session 2:Festivals and celebrations.
Session 3: Rituals: atonement and sacrifices.
Session 4: The centrality of the temple and its function.
Session 5: Women’s religion.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Gain insight into significant historical, literary and theological issues of the biblical texts under consideration.
- Understand the nature of ancient Israelite religion in the Bible and also in its relationship to other religious institutions.
- Evaluate the validity of a variety of interpretations of the texts under scrutiny.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is open to all who are interested in the subject. An open mind is essential.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will be taught through PowerPoint presentations, class discussion, pair and group work. Reading source material every week is encourage in order to foster active participation.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Resources will be provided and shared in Google Classroom.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may be interested in Psalms and prayers in Hebrew (RC523), Sexuality and Gender Roles in Ancient Israel (RC804), or Magic in the ancient World (RC278).

Ann Jeffers

Dr Ann Jeffers taught Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism) at Trinity College Dublin and Heythrop College, University of London for 30 years. She is now Research Fellow at Roehampton University. Her research interests, and publications are in the field of magic and divination in the Bible and the ancient world, feminism and reception history of the Bible mostly in literature and the visual arts. She also belongs to an interdisciplinary research group, ‘Media and Religion’.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.