To familiarize the student with the structure, literary genre, purpose, contents, and theology of the Wisdom Books and Psalms. To help the student to acquire the skills and competence necessary for reading biblical poetry. To assist the student in drawing together the message of the Wisdom Books and Psalms, and their theological relationship to the rest of the Old Testament Canon and to the New Testament. To give the student a greater appreciation for the coherence of the Bible’s literary and theological integrity. To enable the student to see how the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament and the Psalms proclaim a story and message that are of immense importance for the Church today.
The course consists of two parts: In the first one, the Wisdom literature will be analysed in its various ancient Near Eastern contexts: literary, historical, geographical, cultural, religious, and sociological as well as in its canonical and Christological perspective. The detailed exegesis of chosen passages from the books of: Job, Proverbs, Qoheleth, Song of Songs, Wisdom and Ben Sira will enable the students to apply the insights of biblical wisdom in their life and future pastoral ministry. The second part of the course will focus on the various forms of the psalms and their function within the historical experience of Israel. The focus will be on the formulation and interpretation of the psalms, examination of the various types of psalms and their application in the liturgy and spirituality of today’s Church. Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to do the following: - Know the content and themes of the Poetic & Wisdom books of the Old Testament. - Recognize characteristics of Hebrew poetry. - Understand the historical, social, and literary contexts of the Poetic & Wisdom books of the Old Testament. - Identify various forms (genres) and corresponding functions of biblical poetic material. - Understand the purpose and function of wisdom literature in Ancient Israel. - Know the theological messages reflected in the Poetic and Wisdom books of the Old Testament. - Apply appropriate interpretations of passages from the Poetic & Wisdom books to Christian living. - Appreciate the use of the Psalms in personal prayer and in liturgy.
ALTER ROBERT, The Art of Biblical Poetry (New York, Basic Books 1985); CERESKO, ANTHONY R., Introduction to Old Testament Wisdom: A Spirituality for Liberation (New York, Maryknoll 1999); GOLDINGAY JOHN, Psalms. 2 vols (Grand Rapids, Baker Academic 2006); MURPHY ROLAND E., The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature, The Anchor Bible (New York, Doubleday 1992); SEYBOLD KLAUS, Introducing the Psalms (London, T&T Clark 1990).