Recently I had a conversation with Jamie about the need to find something to keep me more connected to the academic world... and then this. I was asked to help TA a course at the Haggard Graduate School of Theology at Azusa Pacific by my thesis advisor, Karen Winslow. We had had the conversation a ways back about the possibility of me sitting in one of her classes as a TA and the timing couldn't be better. So starting next week, I'll be helping with GBBL 631 - Community of God.
This class in particular was one that played an important roll in my academic journey. It was because of this class that I was exposed in a much deeper way to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran community. Here's the class description for GBBL 631:
When Jews returned from exile in Babylon, they constructed a Jewish identity around the Torah, other ancient traditions, and the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, During the period of our study, 537—AD 70, they lived under the control of Persians, Greeks, and Romans, except for the century of Hasmonean rule. The ancient resources for our study include Ezra, Nehemiah, 1-2 Chronicles, certain prophets, the Elephantine papyri, Jubilees, the Qumran library, the Targums, Josephus, and Philo. This study of diverse Jewish communities of the “Second Temple period” forms a context for understanding the early Jesus movement, as well as for Rabbinic Judaism, which emerged after the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE.
The class is pretty comprehensive as students are exposed to a wide variety of texts and current scholarship on the time period. The required reading looks like this:
An Introduction to Early Judaism - James C. VanderKam
The Dead Sea Scrolls Today - James C. VanderKam
Rebecca's Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World - Alan F. Segal
Early Judaism: Religious Worlds of the First Judaic Millennium - Martin S. Jaffee
Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways between Qumran and Enochic Judaism - Gabriele Boccaccini
I'm totally looking forward to the class. It should be quite the experience. I'll post more later from the goings on of class as I can.