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Tor, Naomi

Currently Teaching

RELI 372A – Interpreting the Bible (Old Testament): Approaches to Understanding Israelite Religion and Society

The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is one of the most influential and widely studied texts in the world. For more than two millennia, it has played a central role in shaping Western culture, religion, and ethics. However, the stories, laws, and prophetic writings contained in the Bible are products of a specific time and place--embedded in the ancient Near East, where the Israelite people lived and interacted with other cultures over the course of many centuries. This course explores the contexts in which the Bible was written and compiled, drawing on literary analysis, historical criticism, and the witness of archaeology evidence. Students analyze key topics in Israelite religion and society, including the daily life of men and women, the emergence of monotheism, the role of the priesthood, development of the prophetic tradition, the political formation of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah among others.