SC 231 - Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament

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Module Level

8 (Undergraduate)

Time Allowance

Lectures: 24 hours Tutorials: 3 hours


Continuous Assessment: 50% Final Examination: 50%

Module Aims

To enable students to interpret the Old Testament prophets and the literature attributed to them.

Indicative Syllabus:

  • Prophecy within its Ancient Near Eastern context
  • Brueggemann’s conception of the prophetic imagination
  • Prophets in Samuel-Kings: The Elijah cycle
  • Eighth-century prophets: Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Micah
  • Jeremiah and the fall of Jerusalem
  • Exilic prophets: Second Isaiah
  • Post-exilic prophets: Haggai and Zechariah
  • Key themes: critique and energising; Zion theology; social justice; Exodus
  • Prophetic tales: Jonah

Learning Outcomes

  • Interpret prophetic texts within their historical, socioeconomic, political and religious context
  • Apply appropriate reading strategies to a variety of prophetic genres
  • Compare the treatment of key theological themes and motifs across a number of different texts
  • Discuss the role of prophetic imagination in both biblical and modern contexts
  • Suggest ways in which the prophetic literature continues to be significant for the life of faith


  • Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination. (40th anniversary edition) Fortress Press, 2018.
  • Carol J Dempsey, The Prophets: A Liberation-Critical Reading, Augsburg Fortress, 2000.
  • Nahum Ward-Lev, The Liberating Path of the Hebrew Prophets: Then and Now, Orbis, 2019.