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Amos & Hosea: Prophets for Justice and Fidelity (Online)

This unit aims to introduce the phenomenon of prophecy in Israel through an in-depth exploration of prophetic books that have their roots in the 8th Century BCE, especially Amos and Hosea. It will explore the historical background assumed by these books, and survey modern theories about their growth and composition. Critical and exegetical tools will be used to study selected passages from Amos and Hosea (with some excursions into Micah and Isaiah), in light of modern schools of study. Particular attention will be paid to a number of theological themes within these writings (including justice and righteousness; loyal love; knowledge of God; divine suffering), and the relevance of these themes within current ‘prophetic voices’.

Lecturer: Refer to Timetable
Offered: Online: Refer to Timetable

Undergraduate: Level 2 and 3
Postgraduate: Level 9 Elective 

Discipline: BA Biblical Studies

BA/8001S (in-class) or BA1/8701S (online) Introducing the Hebrew Bible (or equivalent)

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a familiarity with the phenomenon of prophecy in Israel during the 8th century BCE
  2. Describe a variety of scholarly approaches to studying the texts of Amos and Hosea
  3. Articulate the major theological themes in Amos and Hosea, and their relation to the socio-political climate of the 8th century BCE and the wider theological diversities of the Hebrew Bible
  4. Compare the issues faced by these prophets, and their responses to these issues, with current issues and ‘prophetic voices’
  5. (Third Level) Reflect theologically on the place of the ‘prophetic voice’ in the church and contemporary contexts.
  6. (Postgraduate) Reflect theologically on the place of the ‘prophetic voice’ in the church and in contemporary contexts in dialogue with findings arising from critical, self-directed research.


Undergraduate Level 2
Essay (2,000 words) 50%
Critical Reflection (1000 words) 25%
Tutorial Presentation Report (1,000 words) 25%

Undergraduate Level 3
Essay (2,500 words) 50%
Critical Reflection (1250 words) 25%
Tutorial Presentation Report (1250 words) 25%

Level 9 (postgraduate)
Essay (3,000 words) 50%
Case Study (3,000 words) 50%

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Barton, John. The Theology of the Book of Amos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

de Moor, Johannes C. (ed), The Elusive Prophet. Leiden: Brill, 2001.

Carroll R, M. Daniel, Amos, the prophet and his oracles: research on the Book of Amos. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 2002

Domeris, W.R. Touching the Heart of God: The Social Construction of Poverty among Biblical Peasants. New York: T&T Clark, 2007.

Gossai, H. Justice and Righteousness in the Social Critique of the Eighth-Century Prophets. New York: Peter Lang, 1993.

Hagerdorn, A, & A. Mein (eds), Aspects of Amos. New York: T & T Clark, 2011.

Houston, W. Amos: Justice and Violence. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2015.

Houston, W. Contending for Justice: Ideologies and Theologies of Social Justice in the Old Testament. London: T&T Clark, rev. edn. 2008.

Landy, Francis. Hosea. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2011.

Lim, Bo H., and Castelo, Daniel. Hosea. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2015.

Nogalski, James D. & Marvin A. Sweeney (eds), Reading and hearing the Book of the Twelve. Atlanta: SBL, 2000.

O’Brien, Julia M. Challenging Prophetic Metaphor: Theology and Ideology in the Prophets. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2008.