Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: I feel that I’ve already been “introduced” to the Hebrew Bible, but apparently biblical scholarship is different in HUGE, MEANINGFUL WAYS from four atheist friends sitting around cracking jokes about 2 Kings 2:24. (A common atheist complaint: Christians don’t like our interpretations, so they tell us that we are interpreting it all wrong. But, aside from unalterable, if occasionally inconclusive, historical and scientific facts, there’s no such thing as right or wrong interpretation — it’s all merely interpretation.)
The first assignment for Tuesday? Write about your thoughts on “biblical authority.” I’m already baffled. “Authority over what?” is not the first thought of an atheist-atheist; it is first thought of a “sinners in the hands of an angry God” atheist. The Christians in my life tried to teach me that all authority rested with God. The Bible is therefore not an authority at all.
Ethical Perspectives on War & Peace: I’m mostly dreading this class, even though I love the professor (I had him for Ethical Analysis & Advocacy and for Hispanic Ethics & Theology). I learned to generally fear radical pacifists when I took the nonviolence seminar last spring. Don’t misunderstand — violence is bad. Likewise, war is bad. But let’s not be so naive as to pretend that the ends have never justified the means. Inevitably, a classmate will accuse me of playing God, to which I will almost certainly reply, “What’s your point?”
Shaping Public Policy: Ugh, these ridiculous 2-credit classes I have to take in order to round out my schedule! I’ve campaigned professionally. I understand advocacy. My first love was Howard Dean. That being said, if we get away from Christian supremacy for just a little bit — if we actually explore what it means to live in a secular democracy — my classmates’ heads will implode and it will all be worth it.
Theological Anthropology: Woohoo, the good stuff! This is what I’m talking about! This is why I am bothering to go to graduate school! Who are we, why are we here, what does it mean to be human in North America in the 21st century CE? Plus, I love this professor (Postcolonial Globalization in Africa; Rethinking Diversities).