Course Description

The Psalms of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament have a special part in the life of the synagogue and church. A major goal of this course is therefore to gain perspective on how the Psalter has fed and informed Jewish and Christian faith in various periods: in biblical times, Rabbinic and Patristic periods, the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and finally the early and late modern periods. By interacting with recent research into the shape and shaping of the Psalter we will also consider the anthology’s arrangement. Study will generally occur in one of two modes. First, secondary reading and class discussion will look at hermeneutical and historical factors involved in reading and understanding the Psalter. Second, seminars will help put theory into practice by featuring about a dozen particular psalms in connection with their reception history.

Syllabus (Winter 2017)

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Required Texts (Winter 2017)

Shape & Shaping
Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, ed. The Shape and Shaping of the Book of Psalms: The Current State of Scholarship. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1628370010.
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Two Psalms
Susan Gillingham. A Journey of Two Psalms: The Reception of Psalms 1 and 2 in Jewish and Christian Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0199652419.
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Please note that textbook selections for my courses usually change with each iteration of the course.