Chasing Canonical Characters
Phyllis Trible, Union Theological Seminary
Watch ancient texts come to life as you learn about the colorful personalities within the Biblical narrative. Your guide, the eminent Phyllis Trible, uses literary, rhetorical and feminist methods to weave a vibrant tapestry, illuminating the tales of the Hebrew Bible and their unforgettable characters.
Complete Set (10 Lectures, Approx. 55 Minutes Each)
God the Creator
Explore the text of Genesis 1, the priestly creation narrative, the character of God and the relationship between humans and ecology.
Learn about a feminist interpretation of Eve and her character, and explore the creation of humankind and the development of human sexuality in a new way.
Hear how Adam can be interpreted as a “passive, bland and belly-oriented” character, then listen to a discussion of Genesis 2 and 3, with a critique of the patriarchy within the text.
Hagar, Sarah and Abraham
Explore how the original Hebrew sheds new light on the characters of Hagar, Sarah and Abraham, and see a new dimension within these Biblical relationships that enhances and corrects popular interpretations.
Ishmael and Isaac
Examine the details of the sacrifice of Isaac narratives through the lens of idolatry, and follow the tensions throughout the founding family narratives that explain some of the gender politics of these ancient texts.
Investigate textual ambiguities in Genesis 32:22–32 concerning Jacob, the character who gives his name to the nation of Israel.
Consider the many roles that Miriam fulfills in the few verses of the Bible in which she is mentioned. Although Miriam is often maligned in both the Biblical text and interpretation, she can be viewed as the deliverer of Israel.
Elijah and Jezebel
Delve into the juxtaposed characters of Elijah versus Jezebel in 1 Kings and understand the contrasts of these two characters—good versus evil, man versus woman—plus their similarities.
Study how the Book of Jonah has been adopted, utilized and interpreted by the three Abrahamic religions and how it has been the subject of debate by scholars for centuries.
God Wrathful and Merciful
Probe the complex question of who God is in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament and how this question permeates all Biblical interpretation. Trible sums up the complexities in interpreting Biblical divine characters with her hermeneutics of God.