Apocalyptic: The End of the World in Jewish and Hebrew Sacred Texts

Course InstructorDavid Penchansky, professor at the University of St. Thomas, has taught Hebrew Bible there for twenty-five years.  He has published five books on the Old Testament, most recently Understanding Wisdom Literature (2013).  He is currently writing a book about the Qur'an.  He has taught a number of courses for the Selim Center.

Course Information:  Mondays, September 8-October 13, 2014, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Terrence Murphy Hall, Room 260 (Thornton Auditorium), UST Minneapolis Campus

Course Description:  Apocalyptic always fascinates people, with its fantastic creatures and cosmic happenings.  The ancients believed that good and evil waged war, and that war manifested itself on earth and in heaven, and would end in a final cataclysm.  In addition to the more famous texts (the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament, the Book of Revelation in the New Testament), there is a rich tradition of apocalyptic texts that did not make the Bible, most prominent being the Book of Enoch.  We will examine the tradition, the people who wrote it, and its effects upon subsequent cultures, including our own.

Registration fee for the series:  $80.00 per person

To register on-line with a credit card, click on this linkhttps://webapp.stthomas.edu/eventregistration/UST/register.jsp?eventcrn=A9750

To complete the registration form on-line and then mail in a check payment, click on this linkhttps://webapp.stthomas.edu/eventregistration/UST/register.jsp?eventcrn=A9750

To register by check or cash through the mail or in-person, click on this link for the printable registration formFall 2014 Printable Registration Form

Link to campus mapMinneapolis Campus Map

Detailed Course Syllabus (subject to change):

September 8

What is Apocalyptic?

An overview of the field.  What are the characteristics of Apocalyptic?  Who wrote apocalyptic literature?  What was going on in history to produce apocalyptic literature?

September 15

The Beginnings of Apocalyptic

We will examine different theories about the roots of apocalyptic in the Hebrew tradition and in its prophetic tradition.  We will look at the prophet Ezekiel's apocalyptic texts.

September 22

The Book of Daniel

Apocalyptic in service to a people oppressed by Alexander the Great and his successors.

September 29

The Book of Enoch

Apocalyptic literature that did not make the Bible.  This book, included in the Coptic Bible and quoted as Scripture in the New Testament, had a profound effect upon the New Testament and the formulation of Christian belief.

October 6

The Book of Revelation, Part I

First, we will examine other apocalyptic texts in the New Testament, particularly the Gospel of Mark's "Little Apocalypse" in chapter 13.  Then, in Revelation, we will go over the first half of the book, examining its historical underpinnings and its imagery.

October 13

The Book of Revelation, Part II

We will go over the second half of the book, and examine its effect upon contemporary cultures.  I will develop a critique of many popular readings of the Book of Revelation.  Conclusion will be the benefits and dangers of apocalyptic mindset.

 Link to Dr. Penchansky's Prezi Presentations:

Week 1:  http://prezi.com/1rl-whrvkxgt/apoc-lit-part-1/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy