Many people in the modern world claim to espouse biblical values. This course will examine what the Bible has to say about several issues that are controversial in the modern world, including right to life, gender, social justice and the environment. It will also reflect on the difficulty of identifying a single, or even a dominant, biblical position on some issues, and on the relevance of the biblical texts for the modern debates. On some of these issues, the Bible is inspiring, on others not. Even when we can identify biblical values, must we always agree with them?
John J. Collins is Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale University. His recent books include The Dead Sea Scrolls. A Biography (Princeton, 2012); The Apocalyptic Imagination (3rd ed; Eerdmans, 2016); Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy: On Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (Eerdmans, 2015); Scriptures and Sectarianism (Mohr Siebeck, 2014, paperback ed. Eerdmans, 2016); and The Invention of Judaism: Torah and Jewish Identity from Deuteronomy to Paul (University of California, 2017). He is editor of the Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic Literature (2014) and serves as general editor of the Anchor Yale Bible and Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library.