Classes

ANE 197: Bible and Empire

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2022
This course explores the importance of empire for the study of the Hebrew Bible and its history of reception. Students are introduced to the major hegemonic expansionist states, or “empires,” that shaped the history of ancient Israel from the Late Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period. The course is structured around key themes for the study of ancient empires, including borderlands, migration, warfare, and cultural hybridity. It focuses on specific case studies from the Bible, including the story of the exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan, the tales of the “mini-empire”... Read more about ANE 197: Bible and Empire

ANE 222: Hebrew Bible Studies: Past and Future Trajectories

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2022
This seminar examines the historical development of Hebrew Bible studies and the principal challenges facing the field today. Beginning with a survey of key works that shaped past research, the seminar turns to explore current controversies: How should we understand the relationship between the Bible and other ancient Near Eastern traditions? How does the quest for the historical authors of the Bible and their intentions continue to shape the field? What role should social-scientific theories play in biblical exegesis? And how do the context and identity(ies) of the reader shape... Read more about ANE 222: Hebrew Bible Studies: Past and Future Trajectories

ANE 170: Food and Identity in Ancient Israel

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2022
Food and eating profoundly shaped social, religious, economic, and cultural life in antiquity. This course will explore how dietary practices established social bonds and ethnic boundaries in ancient Israel, as well as the importance of food in mediating the Israelites’ relationships with God, animals, and the environment. The course will be structured around key themes that concern patterns of eating in ancient Israel and the Near East, including food prohibitions, sacrifice, royal banquets, commensality, and trade. We will be particularly concerned with identifying key historical... Read more about ANE 170: Food and Identity in Ancient Israel

HEBREW 258: The History of God: Evidence from the Psalms

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2022
The Israelite deity, with an unpronounceable name, may seem to have no history, having simply existed from the beginning of time. However, closer examination of the biblical evidence reveals a complex story of how a wilderness god associated with storms and warfare gradually emerged as the one God of Israel. This course analyzes key texts of the book of Psalms that, in extolling the qualities of the Israelite deity, reveal different aspects of his character: his nature as a storm god and warrior; his geographical links to the south of Israel, between the Negev and Egypt; his adoption of the... Read more about HEBREW 258: The History of God: Evidence from the Psalms

HEBREW 198: Sacred Space and Sacred Time in Ancient Israel

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Sacred space and sacred time were two axes of religion and culture in antiquity. What purpose did they serve in ancient Israel? In this course we uncover the literary and material evidence of the major shrines and festal celebrations that shaped the history of ancient Israel. We explore key texts of the Hebrew Bible that describe cultic spaces, including the foundational narrative of the imaginary cult at Sinai and the enigmatic “chosen place” of Deuteronomy. We consider the processes by which the Israelite cult was gradually centralized to a small number of temples and priestly families... Read more about HEBREW 198: Sacred Space and Sacred Time in Ancient Israel