Monday, February 24, 2014

Graduate Research Lectures with Joseph R. Kelly This Week

We're excited to welcome Joseph Kelly to the Florence (AL) area this week, sort-of close to his home. On Thursday, Joseph will be doing the Graduate Research Lectures at Heritage Christian University, a lecture series started a few years ago specifically for doctoral students in biblical studies or related fields and who have a close connection to the Churches of Christ. Joseph is a PhD (Old Testament) student at SBTS who expects to graduate this Spring. He blogs over at כל־האדם.

If you're in the area, you're warmly invited to attend. The lectures are free and open to the public, and the second lecture will be preceded by a mini-concert by local piano phenom Daniel Huong! We'll finish up with a small reception. The whole event promises to be excellent.

Here are Joseph's topics:

Thursday 27 February 2014
What Does it Mean to Obey God in the Hebrew Bible?
It may seem a simple question, but it resists simplistic answers for close and critical readers. Devotion to God is often expressed using ancient Israelite/Judean idioms that essentially signify obedience, a word with no Hebrew equivalent. But the Hebrew Bible contains cosmologies, narratives, and instructional texts that add multifaceted dimensions to the concept of obedience. The answer—often unexplored in Christian ethics—is plural, dynamic, and suggests Christian devotion be more thoughtful and creative.

Assessing Literary Influence in Biblical Studies
There is an unfortunate tendency in biblical studies to treat intertextuality, inner-biblical interpretation, echoes, and allusion as menu items at a fast food restaurant: You get to choose the one that best suits your subjective tastes and, as the saying goes, "have it your way." This disciplinary free-for-all has been the foundation for many PhD theses and scholarly monographs. But the generative nature of these categories of influence does not necessarily indicate a desirable kind of academic productivity. How might we assess these categories of literary influence in biblical studies?

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