Biblical Studies Courses

Prophecy, Ecstasy, and Emotion:
Enlivening the Prophets in Judaism and Christianity

Early 2024

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The prophets of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament had the special role of imparting God’s messages to His people. As individuals who had direct contact with God and other divine beings, the prophets were able to bridge the gap between the holy and profane. Often when we think of prophecy we either think of predicting the future or divine judgement, but being a prophet went beyond these two things.

In order to communicate with God, the prophets regularly went into altered states in which they would experience visions, enter liminal realms, and return with divinely inspired words, including poetry and song. These altered states were often accompanied by heightened emotions like ecstasy, terror, joy, grief, and awe. Prophets like Ezekiel didn’t only use words to tell people what they experienced in these states, but they would communicate God’s messages using their bodies in weird, wonderful, and sometimes painful ways. 

This course brings excitement back to prophecy. Merging our senses with seminal scholarship, it offers an embodied exploration of the prophets and interprets these figures using cutting edge research about trauma, emotion, trance, and psychedelics. As always, our exploration will also be rooted in the relevant historical contexts as we examine the prophets of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament alongside other traditions of prophecy in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean.

Class Times

To be determined

6 weeks
1 x 1hr live online class per week (recordings will be made available to students to download)
Each week students will be given the materials we will work through together in class and a list of recommended readings so that they can take their learning further if they desire
Topics Include
  • Overview of the genre of prophecy
  • Prophecy in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean 
  • Emotions and their function in prophecy and its reception
  • The prophets Miriam, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Deborah 
  • Trauma and trance 
  • Biblical technologies of trance


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