Ancient Israel

The Biblical Story of the Kingdom of Israel: Joshua through Kings and Chronicles


This course was available in the past and may be presented again as part of the Open Enrollment curriculum.

This course is a close reading of the biblical books of Joshua through Kings, known in scholarship as the Deuteronomic History. This course is open to all who are interested. This deuteronomic history is the story of ancient Israel from its entry to the land of Canaan to the Babylonian captivity. This story follows the covenantal themes proclaimed ostensibly by Moses in the Torah: a promised land; theocratic governance through priests, kings and a judiciary; and prophetic revelation. This story also provides the setting and ideology for the prophetic literature of the Bible that develops in the eighth century and continues for at least three centuries.

The Autumn Quarter course will cover Joshua and Judges.

Course Outline

Recommended Texts:

Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books Inc., 1981)

Ibid, The World of Biblical Literature (New York: Basic Books, 1992)

Robert Alter and Frank Kermode eds., The Literary Guide to the Bible (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987)

Adele Berlin, Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1994)

Meir Sternberg, The Poetics of Biblical Narrative: Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985)


Online registration deadline: Thursday, Sept 22 at 5 PM CT.

No class Nov 22