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UNI lecture to explore Bible as protest literature

January 30, 2014
Contact: 

Jerome Soneson, department head, UNI Department of Philosophy and World Religions, 319-273-6221, jerome.soneson@uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Many ancient Israelites believed that sins cause suffering. UNI philosophy and world religions assistant professor John Burnight will argue that the Book of Job, a writing featured in the Hebrew Bible and the first of the poetical books in Christian Old Testament, is a critique of this belief at his lecture "Truth vs. Tradition: The Book of Job as Protest Literature" from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, in Seerley Hall, Room 115.

"Professor Burnight is addressing a problem that has haunted religious people since the ancient Israelites — why do people suffer?" said Jerome Soneson, head of UNI's Department of Philosophy and World Religions. "In doing so, he opens up the possibility of seeing and even embracing unavoidable suffering as a natural part of the human condition, one that perhaps makes us more sensitive to the mystery, preciousness and wonder of our lives."

Burnight holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible/Northwest Semitic Philology from the University of Chicago and has spent time as a Fulbright-Hays Visiting Research Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses primarily on classical Hebrew poetry, with a special emphasis on the Book of Job and its relationship to other biblical books.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Soneson at 319-273-6221 or jerome.soneson@uni.edu.