“Would You Impugn My Justice?”: A Nuanced Approach to the Hebrew Bible’s Theology of Divine Recompense

February 18, 2015

Joel S. Kaminsky, Professor of Religion and Morningstar Family Professor in Jewish Studies at Smith College, will deliver this year’s Albert and Vera List Fund for Jewish Studies Lecture.

Much recent scholarship has portrayed the book of Job as sweeping away an earlier, supposedly mechanistic theology of divine reward and punishment. This essay argues that the widespread biblical notion that God rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked is more complex than often recognized and that recovering its nuances not only helps one better understand the theological outlook of books like Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and Psalms, but also helps one better grasp the debates within the book of Job. The essay is framed by some reflections on why our contemporary culture regularly misreads the Bible’s language of divine retribution in spite of the fact that many contemporary readers affirm analogous ideas of reward and punishment.

Event Location: Center for the Study of World Religions
42 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 5:45 pm - 7:30 pm

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