latest news

27 June 2008

The Seminar went well - thanks to all. I'm not running it in 08/09 but I will leave this page up for anyone who is interested

Challenging Texts of the Old Testament

This page was created to accompany the seminar by the same name (TSA009) at the Gregorian University, Rome .

The Ordo (university prospectus) described the seminar as follows

Many find the Old Testament challenging to read. There are many passages which seem to sanction or even require behaviour which today we find reprehensible. There are also passages in which God appears to be nasty, vindictive and/or capricious. How are we to understand these texts? In this seminar we will explore a selection of such texts, examining them in historical, literary and canonical context in order to gain a deeper understanding of the message of each particular text. We will also ask the question “what can we make of these texts today”.

Short indicative bibliography.

BRUGGEMANN, Theology of the Old Testament, Minneapolis 1997;
CARROLL, Wolf in the Sheepfold: The Bible as a Problem for Christianity, London 1991;
SOGGIN, An Introduction to the History of Israel and Judah, London 1999.

The outline of the seminar is in the document Challenging Texts of the OT (PDF)

A Theology of Genocide?

Perhaps one of the most challenging ideas in the OT is the 'ban' (HEREM) in which the Israelites are ordered to slaughter all the Canaanites. This paper is the accompanying notes to my presentation on this subject. I am currently working on a doctoral dissertation entitled A Theology of Genocide: Deuteronomy 20:16-18 as Scripture from a Catholic Prespective. Below is some documentation.

Detailed proposal (as approved by the Gregorian University)

Initial bibliography (the current bibliography is already considerably longer!)

Some notes on the Ban (Herem) (PDF)