A study of key texts on war and peace selected from Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Isaiah. Attention will be given to the theological implications of these texts.

Unit code: BA2006W

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Describe selected scholarly theories about human and divine participation in biblical respresentations of war.


Rigorously exegete a biblical text related to the themes of war or peace.


Analyse the biblical background to notions of ‘just war’ and pacifism.


Lectures, tutorials, online interaction

Indicative Bibliography

  • Conrad, Edgar W. Reading Isaiah. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991
  • Crouch, Carly L. War and ethics in the Ancient Near East: Military violence in the light of cosmology and history. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009
  • Dever, William G. Who were the Israelites and where did they come from? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003
  • Kang, Sa Moon. Divine war in the Old Testament and in the ancient near east. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1989
  • Kelle, Brad & FR Ames (eds). Writing and reading war. Atlanta: SBL, 2008
  • Lind, Millard. Monotheism, power, justice. Elkhart: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 1990
  • Niditch, Susan. War in the Hebrew Bible. Oxford: OUP, 1993
  • Ollenberger, Ben C. Zion, the city of the great king. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1987
  • Rad, Gerhard von. Holy war in ancient Israel. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991
  • Swartly, Willard M. Violence renounced: Rene Girard, biblical studies and peacemaking. Telford: Pandora, 2000
  • Tatz, Colin M. With intent to destroy: Reflecting on genocide. London: Verso, 2003
  • Williams, James G. The Bible, violence and the sacred. San Francisco: Harper, 1991
  • Wood, John A. Perspectives on war in the Bible. Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998
  • Yoder, Perry B. and Willard Swartley (eds). The meaning of peace. Louisville: Westminster, 1992
  • Younger, K Lawson. Ancient conquest accounts. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1990


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 2,000 words

2000 40.0
Exegetical Essay

Exegetical paper 1,500 words

1500 40.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

Tutorial paper 1,000 words

1000 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 16 Oct, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-14 09:48:02 +1100