Course Memo

The modern academic discipline of biblical studies has been dominated by white men in American and European institutions. The field’s predominant interpretive mode of historical-criticism assumes objective study of the ancient literature to not only be possible but also the foundation of legitimate study. As biblical scholars from diverse backgrounds have entered the academy, recent scholarship has challenged the notion of the disinterested interpreter by contending that all interpretation is contextual. This course will survey the interpretive approaches of North American scholars of racial minority communities in contemporary academic discourse and explore how different contextualized epistemologies have shaped those their interpretations of the Bible. Beginning with secondary sources, we will explore the hermeneutical strategies specific to groups of biblical interpreters who claim a particular community as their interpretive point of departure. The course will then center primary source readings and minoritized critical readings of them to interrogate the similarities and differences between the various interpretive communities. The course will be conducted in seminar format and students will be evaluated on leadership of class discussions as well as mid-term and final case-studies. The course is intended for master-level students seeking to work in diverse contexts of ministry or community advocacy. Course is taught by PhD student Joshua Garcia with a Newhall Award, under the supervision of Uriah Kim. [Intro to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible or Intro to New Testament preferred; 15 max enrollment]