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Peter Dubovsky, S.J.: Hope in Times of Crisis

Date of Lecture: January 29, 2020

Rev. Peter Dubovsky, S.J.About the Speaker: Rev. Peter Dubovsky, S.J. a native of Slovakia, is professor of the Old Testament exegesis at Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He is author of "The Building of the First Temple: A Study in Redactional, Text-Critical and Historical Perspective" (Mohr Siebeck, 2015) and "Hezekiah and the Assyrian Spies: Reconstruction of the Neo-Assyrian Intelligence Services and Its Significance for 2 Kings 18–19" (Pontificio Instituto Biblico, 2006). As International Visiting Jesuit Fellow at Holy Cross in Spring 2020, he is continuing his research in biblical studies and teaching a course titled Cultures of the Bible.

About the Talk: The Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC, destruction of the temple and the deportation of the people to Babylonia is probably the best-known example of “when the temple was on fire.” However, a survey of the history of Ancient Israel shows that this was not the first nor the last moment when the proto-Israelites, Israelites, Judahites, and Judeans were exposed to devastating wars, merciless deportations and bloodsheds. The wars, destructions, deportations, violence, and the burning of the Jerusalem temples naturally raised a question—is there a hope when the temple is on fire, when the city lies in ashes, and when the people are massacred? What is the source of hope for a small nation like Israel in the midst of all these disastrous events? How were the Israelites, the clergy, the governing class, and the simple able to cope with these disastrous events? Where did their hope lay?