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Amos & Hosea: Prophets for Justice and Fidelity

Elective unit for postgraduate


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’.


Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that 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’

3rd Level:

  1. Reflect theologically on the place of the ‘prophetic voice’ in the church and contemporary contexts.


  1. 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.


Pre-requisites: BA1001S or equivalent foundational unit

Faculty: Merryl Blair (face-to-face unit) Angela Sawyer (online unit: BA2/3/9702S)

Offered: Second semester 2018 (face to face and online)


Level 2

One 2,000 word essay 50%
One 1000 word critical reflection on a set reading 25%
One 1,000 word tutorial presentation report 25%

Level 3

One 2,500 word essay 50%
One 1,250 word critical reflection on a set reading 25%
One 1,250 word tutorial presentation report 25%


One 3,000 word essay 50%
One 3,000 word case study 50%

Recommended Reading:

* = set texts recommended for purchase

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.