Pentecost Course

Biblical Theology of Ritual

May 10 - 15, 2019

Instructor: Dru Johnson

Course Description:

"Ritual" is a universal way of describing human activity. All endeavors—technological, scientific, familial, and so on—are concerned with who can get whom to do what with their bodies, individually and corporately.

Keenly aware of this, the biblical authors focus on the authority to prescribe rites, directions versus improvisation, and sacramental safety in our ritualed world. This is the same complex of issues we wrestle with every day in families, friendships, jobs, and churches.

This course will trace the biblical discourse of ritual from the Hebrew Bible into the New Testament to show the intricate connections between ethical behavior, embodied practices, and the knowledge produced through ritual participation.

We will explore the link between moral behavior and ritual knowledge through the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and the epistles into the church today, scientific knowledge, sacramental understanding, and the current discussions on liturgy.

Course Schedule:

Friday, May 10

7:00 pm: Welcome 

7:10: Vespers 

7:45-8:45: Lecture (Dru Johnson)

Saturday, May 11

8:30 am: Matins

9:00am-10:00am: Lecture and Q&A

10:00-10:30: Break

10:30-11:45: Lecture and Q&A

11:45-noon: Sext

Monday - Wednesday, May 13-15:

8:30 AM: Matins
9:00-noon: Lectures
12:00-12:30 PM: Sext
12:30-2 PM: Lunch
2:00-4:00 PM: Seminars for Certificate students
4:00-5:00 PM: Final Lecture
5:00-5:30 PM: Vespers
6:00-7:30: Dinner
8:00-10:00: Informal discussion

The Friday and Saturday lectures will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church and are free and open to the public.

Saturday night we have a special evening planned that includes Gisela Kreglinger. She will explore how we can recover and cultivate a Christian understanding of feasting and joy as an important element in our spiritual lives.

About the Instructor

Dru Johnson is an associate professor of biblical and theological studies at The King’s College in New York City. Having authored seven books on Scripture and philosophy, Dru is now co-writing on a textbook on the Pentateuch and researching a book on the conceptual similarities (and differences!) between neo-Darwinism and Genesis 1–11. Before all of this nonsense, he was a high-school dropout, skinhead (not racist), punk rock drummer, combat veteran of the "War on Drugs", IT supervisor, and pastor—all things that he hopes none of his four children ever become. (You can get the down low at his website:

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