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Wrestling with the Word: Moral Ambiguity in the Hebrew Bible

Date of Event: November 6, 2019

Mahri Leonard-Fleckman Andrew DavisAbout the Speakers: Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, assistant professor of religious studies at Holy Cross, focuses her work on literary history and the development of the Hebrew Bible, the social and political development of the ancient Near East, interdisciplinary approaches to biblical interpretation, and interreligious dialogue. She’s published “The Book of Ruth, part of the Wisdom Commentary Series” with Holy Cross Professor Emerita Alice Laffey, in 2017, and “The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision,” in 2016. Her current book project is tentatively titled, “'Languaging' the Margins: Constructions of Borders and Identities in the Iron Age Shephelah.”

Andrew Davis is associate professor of Old Testament at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. His work focuses on literary approaches to biblical narrative; prophetic literature, especially Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Amos; The Book of Job; feminist approaches to the Old Testament; ancient Israelite religion; and biblical historiography. He is author of “Tel Dan in Its Northern Cultic Context”; “Exploring the Old Testament: Creation, Covenant, Prophecy, Kingship”; and the recently published “The Royal Rhetoric of Temple Renovation in Ancient Israel and the Near East.” His current book project is titled “Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah: Prophets of Renewal during the Exile.”

About the Discussion: Professors Leonard-Fleckman and Andrew Davis lead an exercise examining the verses in Genesis 16 to illustrate the morally complex characters and theological lessons embedded in the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. Their talk was supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.