Engaging the Sacred: Readings in the OT

Course content

The course is about interpretation – what we do as we read and interpret biblical texts and what others from different worldviews do when they interpret texts and how listening to other voices opens up new ways of thinking about the world around us. The course introduces students to a variety of critical methodological approaches and often lesser well-known Old Testament texts and stories. The overarching idea is how to engage the sacred, in texts as well as in other representations (as in art, music or film, for example).


The course aims is to enable students to think through topics of theology and religion more broadly and sensitively than made possible by historical or contextual interpretation alone. The focus is on reception – different ways of reading for personal and communal development. Students will learn about non-historical critical methods in order to answer the questions of, how do reading strategies affect textual interpretation?  how can biblical texts be constructive for thinking about contemporary challenges? The different methodological approaches include, but are not limited to, rhetorical criticism, narrative criticism, canonical criticism, reader response, metaphor criticism, feminist criticism, black theology, Old Testament theology, post-colonial criticism, ecological criticism, trauma studies, and Moral Injury.


The choice of texts and the different interpretive methods encourage perspective-taking (perspektivering) or the widening of perspectives. Perspective-taking fosters the ability to interact critically with and understand other points of view, which can lead to tolerance, understanding, empathy, and humility.


Ultimately, the course is designed to illuminate the varieties of textual interpretation to individual readers who come with their own questions and concerns.


It is designed to introduce methods of reading in conjunction with Hebrew texts and also art and music with biblical motifs.

Continuous feedback during the course
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Type of assessment
Written examination
Oral examination
Marking scale
7-point grading scale

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 244
  • Exam
  • 120
  • English
  • 420


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Part Time Master

1 semester

Study board of Theology
Contracting department
  • Theology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Theology
Course Coordinator
  • Jill Middlemas   (4-6f66726945796a747133707a336970)
Saved on the 07-10-2022

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