What is the course about?
The period between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New testament (c. 300 BCE-150 CE) sees a very creative output of texts from Jewish communities which were popular and important in terms of history of ideas. As the world changed under the impulse of Hellenism, Jewish writings adapted and continued to reflect and created new concepts in order to respond to new crisis. The course aims to introduce students to understand some of the new ideas emerging during that time. This will be achieved through examining the historical, sociological and religious background of a variety of texts.
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: Writings about history: 1 and 2 Maccabees and the need for change
Session 2: Immortality of the soul or resurrection of the body? Daniel 12, 2 Maccabees 7 and Wisdom of Solomon 1-5
Session 3:Wisdom texts and the problem of the justice of God. Ben Sira/Ecclesiasticus and 4 Ezra.
Session 4: The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Community Rule (1 QS) as an example of diversity within Judaism.
Session 5: 1 Enoch 45-48 and The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs and the rise of messianism.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- have a working knowledge of a variety of texts, including critical questions appropriate for each text, more specifically their historical background, theology, literary form, and reception in the Jewish and Christian traditions
- be aware of the continuity and discontinuity of literary forms and ideas
- appreciate the religious pluralism (i.e. on resurrection and immortality, concept of messianisms, eschatology).
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?