This unit starts with the recognition that some Biblical texts seem to endorse behaviour which is harmful. Students will be encouraged to identify these “texts of terror” and develop apologetic, hermeneutic and transformative strategies to dismantle oppressive readings.

Unit code: DM9600T

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Missiology

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Evaluate ways in which Scriptural texts have informed and supported negative ideology and behaviour


Critically evaluate the history of the negative interpretation of scriptural texts


Deconstruct harmful historical readings and present alternative interpretations


Co-opt these texts of terror for positive transformational readings

Unit sequence

An introductory unit in either BA or BN or equivalent


Lectures and class discussion; assignments

Indicative Bibliography

  • Blyth, Caroline et al. Rape Culture, Gender Violence and Religion: Biblical Perspectives. Cham: Springer, 2018.
  • Boer, Roland. Last Stop before Antarctica Atlanta: SBL, 2008
  • Campbell, Antony F. Making Sense of the Bible: Difficult Texts and Modern Faith. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2010.
  • Caron, Gerald (ed), Women Also Journeyed with Him: Feminist Perspectives on the Bible. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,2000)
  • Kloppenborg , John S. (ed). Apocalypticism, Anti-Semitism and the Historical Jesus: Subtexts in Criticism. London: T&T Clark, 2005.
  • Loader, William. Making Sense of Sex: Attitudes towards Sexuality in Early Jewish and Christian Literature. Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans, 2013.
  • Prior, Michael. The Bible and Colonialism: A Moral Critique. Sheffield: SAP, 1997.
  • Thompson, John L. *Writing the Wrongs: Women of the Old Testament from Philo through the Reformatio*n. Oxford, OUP, 2001
  • Trible, Phyllis. Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984.
  • Whitford, David M. The Curse of Ham in the Early Modern Era. Ashgate, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Case Study

Essay (case study) 3000 words

3000 40.0
Document Study

Article review 1000 words

1000 20.0

Essay (thematic) 3000 words

3000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-10-16 09:40:14 +1100