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Social Studies

Introduction to the Psalms

This is a one-time class in the study of religion and the Bible from a secular perspective.
Professor Dave, PhD
45 total reviews for this teacher
6 reviews for this class
Completed by 19 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
55 minutes
per class
Meets once
year olds
learners per class
per learner

How does a "One-Time" class work?

Meets once at a scheduled time
Live video chat, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Great for exploring new interests and different styles of teachers

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Class Experience

Through this lecture, the student will:
1) Understand the historical remembrance reflected in the Psalms;
2) Appreciate the complex issue of authorship;
3) Discover the intentions of the psalmist in their composition (how the themes move from lament to devotion);
4) Grasp the timeless relevance of the themes of the Psalms as literature.  
I have a PhD in Religious Studies from McGill University (a secular institution), and have taught many courses in the academic study of religion at university since 2008.  See my Teacher Profile for more details.  
A two page hand-out will be provided beforehand so that students may preview the academic terms, new phrases, and historical figures that will be discussed in the lecture. The hand-out may also be used to help take lecture notes, an important skill students will need at university.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
This class examines the Psalms, which are part of the Wisdom Literature tradition of Judaism, being simultaneously part of the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Old Testament, and the Book of Daud (Zabūr) in Islam.  While the Psalms are religious texts and devotional, this class approaches them as literature using the secular tools of academic analysis.  The presentation will be both respectful and neutral with respect to the subject matter, open to those of any world religion or none at all.  It is not presumed the the students will have any interest in the Psalms other than as history and literature, nor will my personal beliefs be presented.  Instead, the class presents the academic findings of scholars that are inclusive of multiple perspectives, who are listed below in the Sources section.   

Lecture Sources:

LaSor, William Sanford, David Allan Hubbard, Federic Wm. Bush.  1996.  Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament.  Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Brueggemann, Walter, and William H. Bellinger, Jr.  2014.  Psalms (New Cambridge Bible Commentary).  New York: Cambridge University Press.  

Gillingham, Susan.  2018.  Psalms through the Centuries: A Reception History Commentary (Volumes One and Two).  Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Hunter, Alastair G.  1999.  Psalms.  New York: Routledge.

Becking, Bob and Eric Peels (ed.).  2007.  Psalms and Prayers: Papers Read at the Joint Meeting of the Society of Old Testament Study and Het Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap in Nederland en België, Apeldoorn August 2006.  Boston: Brill.   

Mowinckel, Sigmund.  1967.  Psalms in Israel's Worship.  New York: Abingdon Press.  


Professor Dave, PhD
Lives in Canada
College Prep in Philosophy and Religious Studies
45 total reviews
89 completed classes

About Me

Hello !

I am a professor of philosophy and religious studies, and I will be offering classes to help students make that sometimes difficult transition to college and university.  

So often I see 1st year undergraduate students struggle with... 
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