DescriptionThis unit examines in detail the Book of Psalms within Israel's historical, social and cultic environment and the broader Ancient Near East context.
The structure, unity and classification of the psalms will be examined, together with the literary features of the psalms providing significant opportunities for the development of biblical exegesis skills. Consideration will be given to the theological contribution of the psalms to the Hebrew scriptures. Special attention will be given to the creative use of psalms in contemporary Christian worship and reflection.
Assessments1,000 words exegetical paper/online class presentation - 20%
1,500 words creative piece of work based on exegesis e.g. sermon, magazine article - 30%
2,500 words topical essay - 50%
Learning OutcomesUpon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:
1. Outline the unity of the psalms and their place within the Hebrew Scriptures.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the literary features of the psalms and the recurrent images/themes developed.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the contemporary scholarship concerning the development of key themes within the psalms
4. Use exegetical skills to analyse the structure, classification and theological contribution of particular psalms.
5. Interpret the psalms within the culture of ancient Israel and apply this to personal and communal, contemporary Christian living
6. Develop a creative piece of work or a worship exercise based on a detailed exegesis of a psalm.
7. Critically evaluate and communicate the contribution of the Psalter to Christian theology and worship.
Text Books* = set texts recommended for purchase
* Anderson, Bernhard W. Out of the depths: the Psalms speak for us today. 3rd edition. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.