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Engaging the Bible:
Wisdom Literature 

Online Practical Theology Short Courses
Trinity College Glasgow & Theology & Religious Studies, University of Glasgow

Course Description


This course offers an exploration of selected biblical texts and themes from the Old and New Testaments, especially in relation to forthcoming lectionary readings and their uses in preaching. The emphasis will be on detailed analysis of those texts and themes and on introducing participants to key critical issues in reading the Bible in a church environment today. 


This year, we will introduce participants to the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Bible, including Proverbs, Job and Qohelet (Ecclesiastes), and Song of Solomon, to reflect forthcoming lectionary readings.

This is an open access course available as a 10-credit course (accredited by the University of Glasgow) or audit-only for those who just wish to engage with the learning programme for their own personal benefit.



Prof Hugh Pyper is Professor of Biblical Interpretation, recently of the University of Sheffield. Hugh's interests include contemporary cultural influence of the Bible; the interaction of biblical and literary studies, and Postcolonial studies. He completed his BD and his PhD at the University of Glasgow, and has worked at the University of Leeds, and the University of Sheffield. Hugh has published widely on various topics related to biblical studies including David as Reader: 2 Sam 12:1-15 and the Poetics of Fatherhood; Text, Image and Otherness in Children's Bibles: What is in the Picture?; and The Unchained Bible: Cultural Appropriations of Biblical Texts. 


ZDL Profile Pic 1.jpg

Dr Zanne Domoney-Lyttle is a tutor in Hebrew Bible and biblical reception at the University of Glasgow. She specialises in the texts and stories of Genesis, with a focus on gender, sexuality and representation, as well as Biblical Hebrew language and translation. She has several years of experience teaching Biblical Hebrew. Zanne has various publications in Open Theology, the Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies and various edited collections, and is currently working on her monograph: The Bible and Comics: Women, Power and Representation in Graphic Narratives (Bloomsbury 2021). She is also in an administrative position with Trinity College Glasgow. In her spare time, Zanne enjoys gardening, baking, and walking around her local area with her dog, Wendy. 

Timetable & Duration

May 6 - June 24, 2021

This course will take place online on Thursday evenings, 7-9pm GMT.


This course will be taught over 8 weeks via online real-time meetings & instruction.


Introduction to the course

The Wisdom ​books of the Bible have long since both perplexed and thrilled those who engage with them. Sometimes, themes arise from the texts which can be difficult to understand and contextualise; yet other times, wisdom literatures appear to reflect our contemporary world. This course offers an exploration of selected texts and themes from Proverbs, Job, Qohelet and Song of Solomon especially in relation to forthcoming lectionary readings, in order to better understand the history and the continued significance of the wisdom texts of the Hebrew Bible. Participants will be introduced to key exegetical issues in reading those texts in a church and world environment today. 

This course will cover the following topics:

  • An introduction to wisdom literature as a genre;

  • Wisdom literature in ancient contexts;

  • Structure and theme in Proverbs;

  • Theodicy and theme in Job;

  • Philosophy and theme in Qohelet (Ecclesiastes);

  • Use of wisdom literature in churches today;

  • Reception and exegesis of key wisdom literature texts.

Course Information


This course is suitable for learners from a wide variety of backgrounds.


Learners may either choose to undertake assessments, and thus qualify for 10 credit points towards a Higher Education certificate or other Glasgow University approved programmes, or who may just wish to engage with the learning programme for their own personal benefit. Graduates are equally welcome.


This course is conducted online. The directed online instruction will be explored in weekly real-time conversations along with materials and interaction using the learning platform, Moodle. Zoom as an online meeting tool will be used for the real-time conversations and online group times. Access to these tools will be supported by the course administration. More information about the use of these will be provided once enrolled. For technology you will need to have access to:

  • broadband/ wireless (at least 1.5 megabites per second up and download)

  • a computer with Dual core 2Ghz or higher and 4GB of RAM or Ipad with OS 13 or later,

  • minimum of Windows 7 or Mac 10.7.

  • a speaker and microphone, built in, USB or wireless Bluetooth

  • Webcam, built in or USB

Delivery & Assessment

Each class will be taught through a range of online discussion, exercises, and activities, viewing and reading. Where possible, materials will be provided digitally. In addition, learners who enrol for credit will be able to access digitised materials, articles, and books via the University of Glasgow's library.

The formal assessment for this course is optional and consists of the following:

  • Critical commentary (1000 words) – 50%

    • You will be asked to select a portion of a wisdom text and comment upon your understanding and exegesis of that text.​

  • Reflective project (1000 words) – 50%

    • You will be asked to reflect upon the use and value of wisdom literature in relation to its place in lectionary readings. ​

Support, guidance and feedback will be available for all assessment.

Credit Award


Completion of the course carries with it 10 Undergraduate credit points for those who wish to undertake the formal assessments. There is also the option to undertake the course for audit without certification.


£207.50 (this covers access to all resources and administrative costs).

Funds & Subsidies

Part-funding subsidies from Trinity College are available to leaders from Church of Scotland Priority Area (PA) parishes via separate application directly to us. To be considered for a subsidy email your interest to Principal of trinity College,, by 1st May 2021.


Applicants should still register for the course by following the instructions under ‘How to Apply’ below. We are unable to provide the subsidy upfront so we ask you to pay the full fee initially and arrangements will be made for the subsidy as a direct grant subsequently. 

Funds or subsidies may also be available through your own church for training or study purposes and we encourage you to approach them with the details of the course.


If you have any difficulties with this process – please contact

How to Apply

For initial registration, email: stating your name, contact details and the title of course you wish to take. 


These courses are delivered through the University of Glasgow. We will contact you with more information and guidance regarding the process for completing registration and enrolment which we have worked to streamline and simplify. If you have any questions regarding the process, you can contact us on the above email address. 


Applications close on April 15th.

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