I love how certain universities make available a number of free resources such as lectures. One resource, in particular, that I’ve really enjoyed has been Yale University’s “Introduction to the Old Testament” by Christine Hayes. There are many hours of video material from this introductory course, and I would recommend that these are augmented through further personal research.
The course description:
This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical-critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.
Christine Hayes is the Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and one of the foremost American academics focusing on talmudic-midrashic studies and Classical Judaica. She is also a specialist in the History and Literature of Judaism in Late Antiquity. Before her appointment at Yale, she served as the Assistant Professor of Hebrew Studies, Department of Near Eastern Studies, at Princeton University from 1993 to 1996. She has published several books and numerous articles in American and international academic journals, and has received academic accolades. Her class on the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) was selected for the pilot program of “Yale University Open Courses,” and has subsequently been one of the most watched online courses about Classical Judaica.
The LSE Student Union is basically equating criticism of Islam with racism, but then fails to mention any linkage of racism for criticism of Christianity…don’t forget that the context is on the Jesus and Mo cartoons. You can see the game that the LSE Student Union is playing.
Predictably, he received much criticism, mostly from Hindus of course. He has followed up with another article from the middle of this year where he describes the poor quality of these Hindu apologists:
Most of my arguments and pot-shots against religion have concentrated on Christianity and Islam simply due to the level of exposure that these two religions have here. Other religions, of course, cannot escape from the exposure of their own injustice and barbarity. Here’s one article on Hinduism and the terrible caste system: