The Joy of Text: Reading the Bible with Liberating Lenses

Class Number: 
June 3-7
2:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Class Price: 

Don’t we just pick up the Bible and read it? What are various ways of interpreting the text and why do these methods matter? With attention to texts of the Hebrew Bible, this class offers an introductory sampling of different approaches in biblical studies, reading with feminist, disability, African, queer, and childist lenses. Course elements will include film, art, and poetry, as we engage the Bible creatively. No previous knowledge of the Bible or these approaches is needed for this course–just an open mind and curiosity to discover how Scripture is vibrantly and vitally connected to our lives today.

Recommended text: Eve Isn’t Evil: Feminist Readings of the Bible to Upend Our Assumptions (for those who prefer not to purchase this book, pdfs of needed chapters will be provided). A few articles will also be distributed in advance. The Bible readings that are the focus of each day will be in the syllabus.

Julie Faith Parker is an Old Testament scholar who passionately believes that the ways we read the Bible matter. She holds a Ph.D. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible from Yale University, awarded with distinction, and also has degrees from Yale Divinity School (S.T.M), Union Theological Seminary in NYC (M.Div.), and Hamilton College (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa). She is ordained in the United Methodist Church and worked full-time in ministry prior to doctoral studies, first as a congregational pastor then as a university chaplain. Her research interests focus on feminist biblical interpretation, childist biblical interpretation, and ancient Near Eastern languages and cultures. She has authored or edited eight books and many articles.

Julie Faith Parker lives in New York City, where she is a Visiting Scholar at Union Theological Seminary and the Biblical Scholar in Residence at Marble Collegiate Church. She has been on the faculty at General Theological Seminary in Manhattan and Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, where she founded the Trinity Prison Project. She has also taught at Yale Divinity School, Colby College, Fordham University, Andover Newton Theological School, and New York Theological Seminary, with a program teaching students incarcerated in Sing Sing Maximum Security Prison. At General, she founded the General Prison Project, a letter-writing program between people who are incarcerated and seminarians.

She is married to the Rev. Dr. Bill Crawford and they are the proud parents of two grown children, Graham and Mari. She enjoys going to museums, singing, and running, and has run the New York City Marathon twice

Yale Divinity School

Julie Faith Parker