This course pursues the dynamics of The Psalms belonging to the ancient Israelite peoples, as relayed within the Hebrew Psalter of the Old Testament. A review of the various genres that biblical scholars identify within The Psalms will aid in understanding these texts’ position within Israel’s relationship to YHWH; and provide a means by which to adjudicate any comparison of these Israelite writings to the so-called Psalms of surrounding ancient Near Eastern peoples. Other Christian and Jewish methods of analyzing the peculiarities of the Psalms’ Hebrew text will be explored, as well as any learnings that might result from encountering The Psalms via chanting, singing, cantoring, physical movement, and other creative modalities. In addition, the course attends to these ancient texts’ witness in regard to matters of creation, ecology, suitable social economic relations, and social justice.
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