Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

THEO2999 Ideologies of Hebrew Bible Texts and Readers

20 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Prof. Johanna Stiebert

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Must have passed one of the following modules:
Intro to the Bible (THEO1350)
Introducing Theology (THEO1970)
Intro to the Study of Religion (THEO1930)
Or equivalent


THEO1350Introduction to the Bible
THEO1930Introduction to the Study of Religion/s
THEO1970Introducing Theology

This module is mutually exclusive with

THEO3040Ideologies Hebrew Bible Texts

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The Hebrew Bible is an ancient and often mystifying collection of texts from a world very different to our own. It is also a canonical body of literature and frequently consulted for guidance or cited to lend authority to an argument. In addition, it is infused with polemics and agendas which, when read analytically, can be clearly discerned. Hence, certain passages reveal attitudes to foreigners and women abhorrent to modern sensibilities, while others disclose very different masculine ideals than those more usual in contemporary western contexts. Ideological criticism is one method that highlights such features and adds rich though sometimes troubling layers to the experience of reading the Hebrew Bible. Alongside probing the ideologies of those who wrote, produced and first circulated the texts of the Hebrew Bible, we will also look at how these texts continue to appear in contemporary debates.


This module will:
- define ideological criticism;
- critically examine key Hebrew Bible texts in order to probe their possible ideological agendas;
- identify and critically examine the ideological use of Hebrew Bible texts in contemporary writing, with particular reference to contemporary popular media and its various contributions to debates concerning, for example, creationism/intelligent design/evolution and homosexuality/ordination of gay clergy/blessing of same sex unions, women’s rights and sexuality.

Learning outcomes
1. to apply an ideological-critical lens to biblical texts;
2. to apply an ideological-critical lens to contemporary texts;
3. to demonstrate thorough knowledge of several Hebrew Bible texts, in terms of their
provenance and range of meanings;
4. to demonstrate thorough knowledge of several Hebrew Bible texts, in terms of their afterlives in contemporary settings;
5. to be able to assess the variety of (and sometimes controversial) ways Hebrew Bible texts have been and are read and used;
6. to research and write essays using a range of primary (biblical) and secondary (academic and/or popular media) sources.

Skills outcomes
Biblical exegesis


Introduction and background to the Hebrew Bible
An introduction and background to ideological criticism
An ideological-critical examination of the Hebrew Bible and its agendas (e.g. with reference to Hebrew Bible depictions of the Exile and/or women, of foreigners, of masculinity, etc.)
Analysis of how and why the Hebrew Bible is used in contemporary polemical discussions (e.g. with reference to discussions on same-sex marriage and/or LGBTQ+ matters, to the teaching of creationism and/or the topic of women’s rights and sexuality)

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparation for lectures and seminars: researching a topic, conducting set readings. Each student will be asked as part of a small group to lead a seminar. (65 hours – preparations for lectures and seminars = 60 hours; preparation for the presentation = 5 hours)
Preparing one essay of 1500 words. Conducting research and writing a well-researched, well-structured essay. Option to submit a draft in advance. (55 hours)
Preparing one essay of 2500 words. Conducting research and writing a well-researched, well-structured essay. (60 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1 x 1500 word essay
Opportunity to submit essay draft in advance
Comprehensive feedback for first essay will assist with second essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1500 word essay40.00
Essay2,500 word essay60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 14:25:35


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019