Course Memo

What does the Bible actually say about slavery, homosexuality, abortion, immigration, women’s roles, and more? In this course, we will discuss the ways in which the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament have been used to support movements of liberation and social justice as well as to support and justify oppressive and violent systems such as slavery, income disparity, sexism, homophobia, racism, and xenophobia. By situating biblical verses within their literary, cultural, and historical context, we will dismantle oppressive and kyriarchal readings. The overarching ethic of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament is liberation and social justice. However, this ethic has been obscured by oppressive readings which fail to account for context. The course will equip students with tools for countering systems of oppression through critical contextual readings of the sources, as well as by introducing intersectional feminist, postcolonial, queer, and ecological methodologies to “de-weaponize” Scripture. Students will use these hermeneutical tools to develop “flipped scripts” that speak to their own contexts. This approach will provide students with the ability to use the Hebrew Bible and New Testament to breathe strength, life, and love into those who have been the target of judgment, marginalization, and violence as well as to reclaim these sacred texts as a resource for liberation and social justice. This is an online Zoom synchronous 3000 level course. The format is lecture/discussion. Lectures will be posted to VoiceThread each week on Moodle. Zoom session participation is mandatory and will be primarily for group discussion of the lecture and the readings. Evaluation is through reflection papers & a final paper, Zoom participation & watching VT lectures. The course is intended for M.Div., MA, Note to Ph.D. students this is a 3000 level course, but you may take the class and write a longer final paper to use for Research Readiness Review. Maximum enrollment is 20. This course falls primarily within the following SKSM Thresholds: 2) Prophetic Witness & Work 3) Sacred Text and Interpretation and 4) History of Dissenting Traditions and Thea/ological Quest. [20 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]