Holy Cross Professor Says We Shouldn’t Let the Ruins of the Hebrew Bible Scare Us

Commonweal Magazine
May 8th, 2019 by 

Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, assistant professor of religious studies. Photo by Tom Rettig
Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, assistant professor of religious studies. Photo by Tom Rettig

In a recent commentary for Commonweal Magazine, Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, assistant professor of religious studies at Holy Cross, said that oftentimes her students lament the Hebrew Bible’s lack of clear answers to moral dilemmas. But that’s precisely why we need to learn how to read it, she argues.

“The Hebrew Bible is filled with stories of ruin—each preserved and transmitted by ancient scribes and editors who intuited that human frailty has something to teach us,” said Leonard-Fleckman, who likens that knowledge gathering to the process of digging through an archaeological tell.

In fact, Professor Leonard-Fleckman is set to participate this summer in the archaeological excavation of Tel Hadid, an ancient city about fifteen miles northwest of Jerusalem. Leonard-Fleckman, whose areas of focus include literary history and the development of the Hebrew Bible, as well as the interdisciplinary approaches to biblical interpretation, is the author of “The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision” (Fortress Press, 2016).

To read the full article, go to CommonwealMagazine.org.

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