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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Theology and Religion

THEO43530: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22

Prerequisites

  • Hebrew and Greek at elementary undergraduate level

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To equip students with the skills and experience to engage directly with the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha with confidence, and to be able to draw on them as a theological source.
  • To familiarize students with the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha as Sources for Early Judaism and New Testament studies.

Content

  • »Old Testament Pseudepigrapha« is a term often used in order to designate texts belonging to the narrative world of the Old Testament but written later by Jews or Christians (I prefer the term »Old Testament Parabiblica«). Well known examples are the First Book of Enoch, a collection of narratives, visions and prophecies associated with Enoch, or the Fourth Book of Ezra, a book that comprises visions of Ezra formulating a pessimistic worldview typical of Jewish Apocalypticism in the first century after Christ and that has been of enormous importance for research on New Testament Theology in the last decades.
  • By closely reading parabiblical texts both in original (Greek) and translation, students will be trained in the various methods which are necessary in order to reconstruct their meaning, to evaluate them as sources for the history of religion and society and to correlate them with other Jewish texts and Early Christian literature, not at least the New Testament.
  • This seminar will also aim at provide students with deeper insight about research in Early Judaism in general.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understanding Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
  • Understanding the importance of OT Pseudepigrapha as sources for the history of religion.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to interpret texts of the OT Pseudepigrapha in original language and translation
  • Ability to engage intellectually with a historically distant theological source
  • Abillity to understand and evaluate secondary literature on OT Pseudepigrapha.
Key Skills:
  • Skills in the acquisition and interpretation of information through close, nuanced reading of primary and secondary sources.
  • Skills in the structured presentation of information in written form.
  • Skills in the conducting of research.
  • Skills in thinking theologically and historically.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Seminars enhance subject-specific knowledge and understanding both through preparation and through interaction with students and staff, promoting awareness of different viewpoints and approaches.
  • Formative essays develop subject-specific knowledge and understanding, along with student skills in the acquisition of information through reading and research, and in the structured presentation of information in written form.
  • Summative essays develop subject-specific knowledge and understanding, along with student skills in the acquisition of information through reading and research, and in the structured presentation of information in written form.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
seminar 19 10 in Michaelmas, 9 in Epiphany term 1.5 hours 28.5
preparation and reading 271.5
total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
essay 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

in class exercises


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University