We will read the books of Ruth and Esther together with the 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 theological exegesis, disaster and trauma studies, and narrative studies). We will consider how these books speak to us as individuals and as the church in the twenty-first century.
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