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POWER AND CORRUPTION IN THE BIBLE (Old Testament)
JS 130/RS 112

Instructor: Dr. Wayne Allen
Location: HH 2107
Time: 13:00 – 14:50
Day: Thursday, January 10, 2013 – April 4, 2013
Office: PAS 1058
Office Hours: Thursdays 16:00 – 17:30
Phone: (519) 888-4567 x32967
e-mail: rabbiallen@rogers.com

DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to the Bible filtered through the narratives of the early prophetic period. Two concurrent themes – the use and abuse of power and political and ethical corruption – serve as the foci in evaluating the demise of the ideals articulated at Sinai as the Israelites were confronted with the reality of internal and international politics. Through a close reading of selected texts from the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings students will identify the key ideas (inc. the qualifications for leadership) at the root of the conflict between the tribes, the contestants for the kingship, the installation of the Davidic dynasty, and the subsequent rupture of the monarchy. Particular attention will be paid to the prophetic response to the emerging crises. Examination and analysis of secondary literature will expand the students’ understanding of the Bible and, by extrapolation, allow for application to contemporary events.

REQUIRED TEXTS:
1.Any complete English edition of the Bible (A recommendation: The Jewish Study Bible, published by the Jewish Publication Society of America) 2.Course Kit (CK) available at the bookstore

January 10 - Unit 1: Introduction
The Importance of Biblical Literacy
What Is the Hebrew Bible?
How Did the Bible Come to Be?
Handouts

January 17 -Unit 2: Political Leadership: Ideals and Expectations Genesis 6:9 – 6:22; 11:1 – 9; 14:1 – 24; 18:17 -33 Deuteronomy 17: 8 – 20; 18: 9 – 14
The Scope of Power, CK 253-9
The Moderating Force of the Prophets, CK 260 – 270 Unit 3: Moses As Paragon
Exodus 2: 11 – 22; 3: 1 – 4:17
Numbers 12: 1 – 13; 21: 4 - 9
The Fugitive, CK 1 – 7

January 24 - Unit 4: The Burdens of Leadership
Exodus 18: 13 – 27; 32: 1 – 35;
Numbers 11: 1 – 20; 16:1 – 35; 20: 1 - 13
Deuteronomy 1: 1 – 45
Leadership in the Golden Calf, CK 8 - 16
The Loneliness of Leadership, CK 18 – 25
The Art of Biblical Narrative, CK 26 - 30

January 31 -Unit 5: The Emergence of an Alternative Model
Re-read Exodus 32: 1 – 35
Leviticus 10: 1 - 11
Numbers 17: 1 – 28
Re-read: Aaron: Representative Leadership for a Representative Event, CK 12 – 15

February 7 - Unit 6: Subversives in Power: An Introduction to the Book of Judges Persistent Corruption, Temporary Relief, CK 31 – 43 Unit 7: The Irony of Power
Judges 13: 24 – 16:31
Samson, CK 44 – 61

February 14 - Unit 8: The Perils of a Power Vacuum
Two Contrasting Morality Tales: Genesis 39: 1 – 23 and Judges 19: 1 – 21:25 The Hapless Concubine, CK 63 – 71
Handouts: Plato, Rousseau, and Hobbes

February 28 - Unit 9: The Rise of the Monarchy
I Samuel 2:12 – 17, 22 – 36; 8: 1 – 22
Give Us A King, CK 73 – 81
King v. God, CK 107 – 112
In Defense of the Monarchy, CK 241 - 251

March 7 - Unit 10: Saul: Appointment and Disappointment
I Samuel 9:1 – 10:27; 15:1 – 35
Saul, CK 82 – 96
Gunn, D.M., The Fate of King Saul, CK 97 – 106
Unit 11: Pawns of the Powerful: Sex, Lies, Manipulation, and Betrayal The Story of Michal, CK 120 – 139
The Story of Abigail, CK 114 - 118

March 14 - Unit 12: The Corrupting Influence of Power
II Samuel 11:1 - 12: 25
David’s Truth, CK 141 - 147
God Knows, CK 148 -158
The Trouble With Kingship, CK 159 – 168...
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