“For such a time as this:” Insights and Issues from the Books of Ruth and Esther for Today
This coures will be offered as a hybrid with an intensive in-person session at the beginning of May and the rest of the course will take place asynchronously online after that with final work being due by August 7th. The in-person session will meet as follows: Wednesday May 3: 2:00-5:00 PM; Thursday and Friday May 4 -5; 9-12 AM, 2:00-5:00 PM. Further details about the online portion of the course will come shortly with a draft syllabus.
We will read the books of Ruth and Esther together with a cloud of witnesses from the past and present who found them not only life giving but also, especially in the case of Esther, deeply troubling. We will examine techniques and strategies used for reading these and other Old Testament narratives through history. We will explore the contexts of Ruth and Esther within both the ancient world and Scripture. We will examine their contents making use of a variety of traditional and innovative interpretive techniques and strategies (including reading within the context of the Ancient Near East, theological exegesis, disaster and trauma studies, and narrative criticism). We will consider how these books speak to us as individuals and as the church in the twenty-first century.