Old Testament: Preaching Exodus

January 13 – March 2, 2020

This course will focus on historical, literary, and ideological themes in and around the book of Exodus. The class will attend to the various social, cultural, and religious practices that influenced the construction of narrative, law, and poetry within Exodus. In addition, students will be exposed to Ancient Near Eastern literature that provide a parallel literary and ideological framework to the biblical text.

Further, students will be asked to think critically about how Exodus has functioned throughout history, focusing on various kinds of reader-response, post-colonial, discursive criticism of the text. In exploring the range of hermeneutical issues at play with the text, students will be asked to contend with complex issues of how the book of Exodus functioned as both positive and pernicious for both its ancient and contemporary audiences. Such evaluations will help students think clearly about how to engage biblical material for the sake of public proclamation.

Instructor: The Rev. Dr. Yolanda Norton

Rev. Yolanda M. Norton is a Ph.D. candidate in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel and Theology and Practice Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Her current research interests include womanist interpretation, narrative and literary criticism, and the Persian period. In particular, her work focuses on the books of Genesis and Ruth, and how each text treats foreign women, and considers the ways in which insider-outsider paradigms in Scripture influence constructions of identity and facilitate the vilification and/or oppression of women of color who encounter the biblical canon in the modern world.