Wycliffe Centre for Scripture and Theology: Colloquium
Fall 2023 Scripture and Theology Colloquium - The Book of Esther
Friday, Oct 20, 2023, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Explore the book of Esther with world-class theologians and biblical scholars at Wycliffe College’s Scripture and Theology Colloquium, a gathering for faculty, pastors, students, and those who are interested in the dynamic interplay between scripture and theology.
Esther is a mightily resourceful, female lead character who lends her name to this piece of Scripture. One noted feature of the book is that God’s name is not mentioned even once. Rather, the focus of this book is the zigzagging tale of the Jewish exiles in Persian Susa in a time of threats of persecution and intrigue at the royal court. What, then, is the message of the book of Esther? Is it “God helps those who helps themselves?” Or does it advocate praying to the Lord , even though he seems absent, trusting him to manage the historical events for the benefit of his covenant people? Both (and more!) interpretations are possible. More specifically, how are God’s people meant to work with or against political power that can be brutal yet all too human? How much can the Church today read this as her book, given that it isn’t mentioned in the New Testament, but is central for the Jewish feast of Purim, for which there is no obvious Christian equivalent?
- Marion Taylor, Wycliffe College
- Andrew Witt, Tyndale University
- Mark Gignilliat, Beeson Divinity
- Brittany Melton, Regent College
- Marion Taylor, “For Such a Time as This: Introducing the Book of Esther’s theological, ethical, and literary challenges”
- Andy Witt: "Esther and the Providential Patterning of Divine Justice"
- Mark Gignilliat: “Esther in Canonical Dress”
- Brittany Melton: “Cathartic Commemoration: Re-evaluating the purpose of Comedy in Esther”