This seven-week course will introduce participants to a way of reading and interpreting the Scriptures that emphasizes the nonviolent nature of God and the errors we too often make as we read the Bible, especially the Hebrew Scriptures, that seem to reveal a violent, angry God. It will be a fast-paced course, mostly lecture-based with resources offered for further learning beyond class. The goal of the course is to come away with a new perspective, a new lens, with which to read Scripture.
This course will consider first a brief overview of a methodology for approaching and interpreting Scripture. In this first part the participants will learn about the work of Rene Girard, twentieth century theologian. We will take up the theological question of the “atonement” as critical to the meaning of the Bible for Christians. In subsequent weeks we will take up such topics as: Oppression to Justice, Violence to Forgiveness, The Land and Its Loss, Wrath to Compassion, and Victim to Vindication.