We will read the books of Ruth and Esther together with a cloud of witnesses from the past and present who found them not only life giving but also, especially in the case of Esther, deeply troubling. We will examine techniques and strategies used for reading these and other Old Testament narratives through history. We will explore the contexts of Ruth and Esther within both the ancient world and Scripture. We will examine their contents making use of a variety of traditional and innovative interpretive techniques and strategies (including reading within the context of the Ancient Near East, theological exegesis, disaster and trauma studies, and narrative criticism). We will consider how these books speak to us as individuals and as the church in the twenty-first century.
This course was previously taught at the 2000 level under the course code WYB2221H There is a pre-course assignment.