"The Book of Psalms" Non-Credit Course

Oct 15 to Nov 19 2012
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Paul Mankowski, SJ

Lumen Christi Institute


Lecture: 7:00PM
Informal Dinner: 6:30PM

October 16: The Prayer Book of Jesus
What are the psalms and how did they become a psalter? The introductory class will address the nature of Jewish prayer and Hebrew poetry, lay out the various genres of psalms, and discuss the compilation of psalms into a book of the Old Testament and a keystone of the Church’s liturgy. Particular attention will be given Psalms 6, 19, and 27.

October 23: Songs of Wrath
God’s anger and man’s find full-throated expression in the Psalms, often in ways that shock or bewilder us. In coming to grips with the cursings in the Psalms we come to a deeper understanding of the blessings that are their contraries, and the nature of the injuries that prompt them. Particular attention will be given Psalms 2, 49, 53, 58, 109, and 137.

October 30: Songs of Joy
The Psalmist’s capacity for delight exceeded even his capacity for rage. Discussion of various examples of exultation will show how enraptured contemplation of the created order was to be extended into the Church’s sacramental theology.  Particular attention will be given Psalms 16, 23, 66, 92, 96, 119, and 139.

November 6: Songs of Entreaty & Assent 
The desires of the Psalmist were always present to him, and entreaty is a constant force in his prayer.  At the same time the psalms take delight in affirming the hand of God in the history of His people.  Particular attention will be given Psalms 22, 42, 57, 106, and 110.

November 13: Songs of Pain 
Lament, sorrow and remorse are part of every human life, and consequently part of the prayer offered by every believer.  A discussion of some of the penitential psalms and psalms of lament will examine the moral self-understanding of ancient Israel and way in which it is and is not continued by Christian belief and prayer. Particular attention will be given Psalms 51, 55, 69, 73, 79, and 88.

November 20: Songs of Praise
It is a striking fact about Israel that it was willing, even delighted, to give praise and thanks to God simply for who He is in Himself, and not only in response for those benefits He had conferred upon His people.  The psalm of praise is the psalm par excellence.  Particular attention will be given Psalms 8, 65, 104, 68, 84, 117, 148, and 150.

Paul Mankowski, SJ is the Scholar-in-Residence at the Lumen Christi InstituteA native of South Bend, Indiana, and a member of the Society of Jesus, Paul Mankowski has an A.B. from the University of Chicago, an M.A. from Oxford, and a PhD in Semitic Philology from Harvard University. He taught for many years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and has published in areas of language, theology, and the biblical text.