Perspectives On Prophetic Texts (THEM424)

StaffProfessor Siam Bhayro - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will:  explore the nature and function of prophets and prophecy in the ancient near east;  assess perceptions and presentations of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible;  examine selected prophetic books in respect of content and composition;  engage with traditional and critical approaches to the Prophets

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Discuss in a sophisticated, critical and detailed manner the nature and function of prophets and prophecy in ancient Israelite, Judahite and other Near Eastern cultures
  • 2. Discuss in a critical, detailed and nuanced manner the relationships and distinctions between ancient, biblical and scholarly concepts of prophets and prophecy
  • 3. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the multi-faceted complexity of (i) ancient Israelite and Judahite prophecy and (ii) prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible
  • 4. Employ and reflect critically upon scholarly methods of historical reconstruction of ancient Israelite and Judahite prophecy
  • 5. Employ and reflect critically upon scholarly theories concerning the composition and purpose of prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. Read critically, analyze and evaluate selected biblical texts with reference to their original language
  • 7. Critically assess the historical value, literary dynamics and ideological functions of biblical texts
  • 8. Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new approaches and hypotheses
  • 9. Evaluate creatively current research in the discipline

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, and communicate conclusions clearly
  • 11. Act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
  • 12. Engage respectfully with views and beliefs which may be contrary to one's own.

Syllabus plan

Prophecy in the ancient near east  Prophetic history  Shamans, Poets and Scribes  Isaiah  Jeremiah  Habakkuk  Ezekiel

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22seminars
Guided independent study278private study.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
preparatory reading for each sessionone chapter per class 6, 11
two seminar presentations 15 mins 10-12verbal, in classroom

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
two essays100each 4,000 words1-9written comments after formal submission

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Ben Zvi, E., and M.H. Floyd (eds.), Writings and Speech in Israelite and Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000).

Blenkinsopp, J., A History of Prophecy in Ancient Israel (revised edn; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996).

Gordon, R.P. (ed.), The Place is too Small for Us: The Israelite Prophets in Recent Scholarship (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1995).

Nissinen, M., and C.L. Seow (eds.), Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003).

Wilson, R.R., Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (1980)

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Available as distance learning?