Rhetorical skill and argumentative fervor were the stock-in-trade of ancient Israel’s prophets. They carefully crafted their words and delivered them with the intent to persuade their audiences. Yet, the prophets were also conservative in their approach, inasmuch as they liberally quoted their predecessors and made use of well known literary genres and forms. Habakkuk exemplifies these techniques within the Judean tradition, yet he wielded them to unusual, perhaps even subversive, effect. Why was this short and complex book included in the Bible?


About the Speaker: David Vanderhooft is Associate Professor of Theology in Boston College. His research interests revolve around the Hebrew Scriptures, especially the Former and Latter Prophets. Historical, cultural, theological, and comparative analyses of ancient Israel’s literature dominate his scholarship. The relationship between Israel and the ancient empires of Assyria and Babylonia forms another focus of his research.


Moderator: Jeremy Smoak (UCLA)