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.
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).