A study of selected texts relating to the themes of land and exile in biblical theology. The unit will bring exegetical reflections into dialogue with contemporary issues of ecology, migration, spirituality of dispossession, and the theology of hope.

Unit code: BA9704W

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Distinguish between the theologies of land in Deuteronomy and Leviticus


Describe a range of responses to the exile in the Old Testament


Critically evaluate similarities and differences between prophetic theologies of hope


Discuss selected exegetical issues in relation to contemporary debates about ecology, migration, the spirituality of dispossession, or hope


Reflect theologically on biblical texts and relate biblical studies to other theological disciplines in a research project at a postgraduate standard.

Unit sequence

Elective unit in Hebrew Bible / Old Testament


12 weekly sessions, requiring online participation. Each session consists of lecturer’s input, guided reading, additional suggested resources, and tutorial tasks requiring critical reflection and peer interaction.

Indicative Bibliography

  • = set texts recommended for purchase
  • Brett, M.G. Decolonizing God: The Bible in the Tides of Empire. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2008.
  • Chapman, C. Whose Promised Land? The Continuing Crisis over Israel and Palestine. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002.
  • Davis, E. Scripture, Culture, Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Goonan, M. A Community of Exiles: Exploring Australian Spirituality. Homebush: St Pauls Publications, 1996.
  • Habel, N. The Land is Mine: Six Biblical Land Ideologies. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995.
  • Halvorson-Taylor, M. Enduring Exile: The Metaphorization of Exile in the Hebrew Bible. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2011.
  • Joerstad, M. The Hebrew Bible and Environmental Ethics: Humans, Nonhumans and the Living Landscape. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • Kelle, B,E. et al. (eds). Interpreting Exile: Displacement and Deportation in Biblical and Modern Contexts. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
  • Smith, A.D. Chosen Peoples: Sacred Sources of National Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Smith-Christopher, D. A Biblical Theology of Exile. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002.
  • Weinfeld, M. The Promise of the Land. Berkeley: University of California, 1992.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

One exegetical paper

3000 40.0

One essay

3000 40.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Online tutorial participation – not fewer than 5 entries of approximately 200 words

1000 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 30 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-30 17:24:08 +1000