Academic Programs 
      

Reading the Story of David for Our Time   (SC-637)
Fall 2008

King David as depicted in the David story (I Samuel 16 to I Kings 2) invokes awe and adoration on one hand and profound sympathy on the other and has captured the imagination and heart of a countless number of people over the years. But David was also a Machiavellian man of “loyalty” and sword who utilized his men, his wives and even God to achieve his goals. This course will not try to validate one image over the other; instead it will examine some features in David that are relevant and worthy to be imagined and practiced by individuals and communities of our time. The course material will be organized into twelve episodes or lessons so that the students can adapt it for bible study lessons and sermons.

 

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m-12:30 p.m. (10 Weeks)



Uriah Kim
Professor of Hebrew Bible

Contact Information:
phone: 
(860) 509-9547
email: ukim@hartsem.edu

 


Course Syllabus




Course Objectives

King David as depicted in the David story (I Samuel 16 to I Kings 2) invokes awe and adoration on one hand and profound sympathy on the other and has captured the imagination and heart of a countless number of people over the years. But David was also a Machiavellian man of “loyalty” and sword who utilized his men, his wives and even God to achieve his goals. This course will not try to validate one image over the other; instead it will examine some features in David that are relevant and worthy to be imagined and practiced by individuals and communities of our time. The course material will be organized into twelve episodes or lessons so that the students can adapt it for bible study lessons and sermons.

Goals of the Course:

  • The first goal is to read the story of David (1 & 2 Samuel; 1 Kings 1-2) carefully, reflectively, and critically to get a good picture of David.
  • The second goal is to read David through four different approaches: theological, historical, literary, and contextual.
  • This course will not try to validate one image or deconstruct another; instead, we will use these four reading strategies to examine some features in David and “lessons” in the David story that are relevant and worthy to be imagined and practiced by individuals and communities of our time.

Requirements & Grades:

  • Students are expected to attend all class sessions and to participate actively in class (10% toward the final grade).
  • Students are require to write 3 reflections or sermons (out of 4 assignments), 5 pages in length each. The reflections/sermons need to demonstrate that students have engaged with the text, biblical scholarship, and their own context. Each paper is worth 30% toward the final grade.
  • Students may opt to write one reseach paper (10 pages in length; duen on Nov. 19) in lieu of two reflections/sermons after consulting with the professor on the topic of her/his research.
  • Assignments are due on the following dates: Historical Reading (October 8); Theological Reading (October 22); Artistic Reading (November 5); Contextual Reading (November 19).

Required Books (Available for Purchase at the Seminary Bookstore)

  • • Alter, Robert. The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 & 2 Samuel. New York: Norton, 1999.
  • Brueggemann, Walter. David’s Truth in Israel’s Imagination and Memory. Second Edition; Fortress Press, 2002.
  • Kim, Uriah Y. A Postcolonial Reading of the David Story (forthcoming from Sheffield; manuscript will be handed out in class; students will be charged a copying fee)
  • McKenzie, Steven L. King David: A Biography. Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Pinsky, Robert. The Life of David. Schocken, 2005.
  • Swindoll, Charles R. David: A Man of Passion and Destiny. Thomas Nelson, 1997.

Reference Texts

  • McCarter, P. Kyle. I Samuel: A New Translation with Introduction, Notes, and Commentary. Anchor Bible, 8. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980. [in the Seminary Library’s reference section]
  • McCarter, P. Kyle. II Samuel: A New Translation with Introduction, Notes, and Commentary. Anchor Bible, 9. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1984. [in the Seminary Library’s reference section]
  • Newsom, Carol A. and Sharon H. Ringe, eds. The Women’s Bible Commentary.
    Expanded ed. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1998.
  • Patte, Daniel et al., eds. Global Bible Commentary. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004.

For Further Reading

  • Bodner, Keith. David Observed: A King in the Eyes of His Court. Hebrew Bible
    Monographs, 5. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2005.
  • Exum, J. Cheryl. Plotted, Shot, and Painted: Cultural Representation of Women. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996.
  • Fewell, Dana Nolan and Gunn, David M. Gender, Power, and Promise: The Subject of the Bible’s First Story. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993.
  • Fleminger, John. Behind the Eyes of David. Lewes: Book Guild, 2002.
  • Gunn, David M. The Story of King David. JSOTSup, 6. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1978.
  • Halpern, Baruch. David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King. Grand Rapids. Eerdmans, 2001.
  • Noll, K.L. The Faces of David. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997.
  • Polzin, R. David and the Deuteronomist: A literary Study of the Deuteronomic History. III. 2 Samuel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.
  • Sternberg, Meir. The Poetics of Biblical Narrative: Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
  • Steussy Marti J. David: Biblical Portraits of Power. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1999.

Class Schedule

1. September 10 Introduction to David and the Course

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. x-45 (1 Samuel 1-8)

2. September 17 David of History/Knowledge

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. 46-94 (1 Samuel 9-15)
• McKenzie, pp. 1-110

3. September 24 David of History/Knowledge

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. 46-94 (1 Samuel 16-20)
• McKenzie, pp. 111-189

4. October 1 NO CLASS (Eid al Eitr)

5. October 8 David of Theology/Faith

Assignment 1 Due

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp 131-188 (1 Samuel 21-30)

6. October 15 David of Theology/Faith

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. 189-224 (1 Samuel 31-2 Samuel 5)
• Swindoll

7. October 22 David of Literature/Arts

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. 225- 239 (2 Samuel 6-8)
[on reserve in the Library] John Fleminger, Behind the Eyes of David (Lewes: Book Guild, 2002), pp. 59-78.
• Pinsky, chapters 1-6

• Assignment 2 due October 22

8. October 29 David of Literature/Arts

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. 240-282 (2 Samuel 9-14)
[on reserve in the Library] Cheryl J. Exum, Plotted, Shot, and Painted: Cultural Representation of Women. (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), pp. 19-53.
• Pinsky, chapters 7-12

9. November 5 David of Postcolonial Imagination

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. 283-328 (2 Samuel 15-20)
• Kim, chapters 1-3

• Assignment 3 due November 5.

10. November 12 David of Postcolonial Imagination

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. 329-359 (2 Samuel 21-24)
• Kim, chapters 4-6

11. November 19 Conclusions

Reading Assignments
• Alter, pp. 363-384 (1 Kings 1-2)
• Kim, Epilogue

• Assignment 4 due November 19

 

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