This unit engages with the Book of Psalms. It considers the history, forms, structure and contents of the Psalter, its genres and its theologies. Students will undertake exegesis of selected psalms; reflection on documents from the Christian tradition; personal prayer and reflection in the light of learnings.

Unit code: BA3450T

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Exegete a psalm within its form-critical and canonical context


Analyse scholarly approaches to reading the Psalms.


Integrate insights in theology and liturgy of the Psalms from ancient Israelite and Christian traditions


Synthesise theory and praxis in a contemporary context.

Unit sequence

BA1000T Introduction to the Old Testament or equivalent Recommend: BA2300T Interpreting the Old Testament or equivalent Familiarity with Biblical Hebrew is an advantage


Lectures, guided readings, Socratic dialogue, flipped classroom

Indicative Bibliography

  • Brown, W.P. Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2002.
  • Brown, William P. The Oxford Handbook of the Psalms. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Brueggemann, W. Psalms. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • DeClaissé-Walford, Nancy L., R.A. Jacobson and B. Laneel Tanner, The Book of Psalms. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014.
  • Firth, D.G. Surrendering Retribution in the Psalms: Responses to Violence in Individual Complaints. Bletchley: Paternoster Press, 2005.
  • Gillingham, Susan E. Psalms through the centuries. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.
  • Hopkins, Denise Dombkowski. Psalms: Books 2-3. Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier Book, Liturgical Press, 2016.
  • Jacobson, R.A. and K.N. Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader’s Guide for Discovery and Engagement. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.
  • Wallace, Howard N. Psalms. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay (2000 words)

0 40.0

Exegesis (2000 words)

0 40.0

Forum (equivalent to 1000 words)

0 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-27 15:37:02 +1000