Book of Samuel: Leadership and Authority in Ancient Israel

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Course ID: Jewish Education 40110A
Division: Undergraduate Studies, Graduate Studies
Program: Jewish Education (Undergraduate), Jewish Education (Graduate)
Location: On Campus

The first Book of Samuel, which narrates the careers of Samuel, Saul and the rise of David, may be read as a composition whose subtext is the challenges of creating and managing power. In this course we will trace the way in which the Book portrays the institutions of power in ancient Israel – the priesthood and the sanctuary, the prophet, and the monarchy as fundamentally unstable institutions in need of constant tweaking and balancing, as the nature of leadership and power is such that effective equilibrium is rarely achieved and constantly challenged.