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Great Minds Lecture Series

"Why is the Bible a Text: Memory, Orality, and the Birth of Prose Literature”

Guest speaker: Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Daniel Pioske, Ph.D.

One of the great mysteries of the Hebrew Bible is how its stories about the past came to be. This question is made more difficult at the outset by the fact that the ancient biblical writers who composed these texts took no credit for them, thus leaving these writings with no discernible author in view. But the biblical narratives are also puzzling because they were formed in an ancient society in which few could afford written documents and even fewer could read them. The intent of this lecture, accordingly, is to ask the question—why is the Bible a text?—and to respond to it by examining the possible early audiences of these writings, what factors led to their composition, and how prose writing emerged from an earlier, oral storytelling tradition in ancient Israel.

Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 5:30pm

Russell Union, 2047

Event Type

Lectures and Guest Speakers


Zach S. Henderson Library, College of Arts and Humanities


Free and open to the public.


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