Joel Kaminsky on whether the Book of Job sweeps away a mechanistic concept of divine retribution

Professor Joel S. Kaminsky (Smith College) delivered the 2015 Albert and Vera List Fund for Jewish Studies Lecture at Harvard Divinity School on February 18, 2015, “Would You Impugn My Justice?”

Much recent scholarship has portrayed the book of Job as sweeping away an earlier, supposedly mechanistic theology of divine reward and punishment. Joel S. Kaminsky argues that the widespread biblical notion that God rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked is more complex than often recognized. Recovering its nuances not only helps one better understand the theological outlook of books like Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and Psalms, but also helps one better grasp the debates within the book of Job.

00:00 Welcome by Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology, Harvard Divinity School

1:45 Introduction by Jon D. Levenson, Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies, Harvard Divinity School

3:55 Joel S. Kaminsky, Professor of Religion and Morningstar Family Professor in Jewish Studies, Smith College

39:30 Q&A with Joel S. Kaminsky

A version of the lecture was published as “Would You Impugn My Justice? A Nuanced Approach to the Hebrew Bible’s Theology of Divine Recompense” Interpretation 69.3 (2015): 299-310.

Advertisements