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Ethel M Wood Lecture 2019

Strand Campus, London

24 Apr
trs taster day
Ethel M Wood Lecture 2019

Dr Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, Reader in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at the University of Aberdeen presents The Book of Jonah in Jewish-Christian Debate.

This lecture offers glimpses of the long and fascinating reception history of Jonah through interaction with sermons, commentaries, artwork, and literature. We shall focus on three texts that have been instrumental in anti-Jewish polemics and discuss not only the Christian interpretations but also the Jewish rejoinders. We shall first look at how the sailors in Jonah 1:12–16 have metamorphosed through the centuries, from being exemplary precursors of Gentile Christians to becoming pious converts to Judaism. We shall then investigate how the Ninevites’ repentance in Jonah 3:5–8 have been used to fuel anti-Jewish comparisons and how Jewish scholars have responded by casting doubts on the Ninevites’ sincerity. We shall conclude by contrasting the Christian propensity for lauding God’s decision in Jonah 4:2 to be merciful with the Jewish inclination to highlight the divine failure to be unmerciful.

The Ethel M Wood Lecture is a University of London annual lecture which was endowed by Mrs Ethel M. Wood in 1947. It is administered jointly on behalf of the University by the Department of Theology at Heythrop College and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's. Since its foundation in 1947 many distinguished speakers have lectured on topics within the broad field of Biblical Studies. The lectures are designed for students and informed members of the general public.

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