Building a New Testament Syllabus After the 2016 Elections

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Susanna Drake


After the 2016 elections, students at Macalester College, a small private liberal arts college in Saint Paul, Minnesota, encouraged the faculty and staff to combat hate, sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy in and out of the classroom. These students inspired me to reconsider the way that I taught my introductory New Testament course. In this essay, I present the process by which I redesigned the course to explore not only the historical context of the New Testament texts but also our present political context and the ways it shapes biblical interpretation. The redesigned syllabus includes scholarship representative of the feminist, post-colonial, African American, Latinx, Asian-American, Jewish, queer, and other liberationist and identity-based approaches to the study of the New Testament.

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