Paul Mankowski, SJ
Lumen Christi Institute
a weekly non-credit course
6:00 Dinner | 6:30 Lecture
Open to current students and faculty. Others interested in attending please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Registrants are free to attend as many sessions as they choose.
The Book of Judges is a collection of loosely connected accounts of the loosely connected Israelite tribes in the period between the death of the general Joshua and the establishment of the first kingdom. This time of religious and military crisis brought to the fore a series of heroes called šōṕēṭîm (judges) who, as emergency agents of God's deliverance and chastisement, reconnected the Israelites to the promises made in the covenants.
In times when Bible-reading was common, the vividness, economy, and narrative force of the episodes in Judges made the book a favorite (among the works of G.F. Händel, for example, are oratorios titled Deborah, Gideon, and Jephthah, in addition to the better-known Samson). Today appreciation for the book has declined, as it serves comfortably neither the purposes of liturgy nor of polite politics.
This course will examine the principal episodes of Judges, trying to develop some awareness and admiration of their distinctly Bronze Age flavor, and connecting them theologically to the operation of the covenant in the Old Testament. No prior familiarity with the book is presumed.
Jan 10 The First Judges -- Chapters 1-3.
Jan 17 Deborah -- Chapters 4-5.
Jan 24 Gideon -- Chapters 6-8
Jan 31 Jephthah -- Chapters 10-12
Feb 7 Samson 1 -- Chapters 13-14
Feb 14 Samson 2 -- Chapters 15-16
Feb 21 Epilogues -- Chapter 17
Paul Mankowski, SJ is the Scholar-in-Residence at the Lumen Christi Institute. A 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 Ph.D. 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.