Norman K. Gottwald

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Norman Karol Gottwald (born 1926) is a 20th-century American Marxist, political activist, and professor emeritus of biblical studies at New York Theological Seminary.[1][2][3][4]

Background[edit]

Norman Karol Gottwald was born on October 27, 1926, in Chicago. His parents were Norman Gottwald and Carol Copeland. In 1949, he received an A.B. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1951, he received an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary. In 1953, he received a doctorate in biblical literature from Columbia University.[1]

Career[edit]

From 1953 to 1955, Gottwald taught at Columbia University. From 1955 to 1965, he taught at the Andover Newton Theological School. From 1965 to 1973, he taught at the Berkeley Baptist Divinity School (later American Baptist Seminary of the West). From 1966 to 1982, he taught at the Graduate Theological Union. From 1980 to 1994, he taught at the New York Theological Seminary.[1][3][5]

He has also served as adjunct professor at the Pacific School of Religion in San Fransciso.[2]

"Gottwald's greatest contribution to biblical scholarship is his use of anthropology and sociology in biblical studies."[1]

Gottwald is an ordained minister of American Baptist Churches USA and as such "he is a strong advocate of popular biblical study committed to social change."[3]

Fellowships, grants, honors, awards[edit]

  • 1960: Faculty Research Scholarship from the American Association of Theological Schools
  • 1960: Fulbright Research Scholarship at Hebrew University (Jerusalem)
  • 1968: Post-Doctorate Fellowship at Hebrew Union College Biblical and Archaeological School (Jerusalem)
  • 1970: Faculty Research Scholarship from the American Association of Theological Schools
  • 1996: Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sheffield[1]

Students[edit]

  • Claude Mariottini, professor of Old Testament, Northern Baptist Seminary[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Gottwald married Laura; they have two children.[1]

In 1953, Gottwald wrote a letter to Life magazine in response to the essay "Is Academic Freedom in Danger?" by Whittaker Chambers, stating:

Sirs:

Mr. Chambers' article is timely and soberly written. We must all be thanks for his contribution. But with all their grim necessity, such investigations arouse and feed upon suspicion and mistrust; they inflame passion and prejudice. A little more "liberal neurosis" in Germany might have checked Nazism at its inception. The liberal must warn that in the struggle for survival we may sell our soul.

Certainly, we must uncover and prosecute those who intend the violent overthrow of our government. But we must resist with all our strength the self-righteousness and assumed importance, the political opportunism of those who would have us believe these skirmishes constitute the real war against Communism. The "liberal neurosis" is trying to lift the vision of shortsighted men who have little or no understanding of the conflict of ideas, of why men become Communists, why they are disillusioned, and how we may enlist these factors in the cause of freedom.

Norman K. Gottwald
New York, NY[7]

Gottwald's was the final letter published by the magazine and seems to make the most effort to resolve conflicting views in the foregoing letters.

Works[edit]

Gottwald's most influential work is The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E. (1979). In it, he employed a sociological approach to the study of early Israelite religion and politics. He proposed Israelites emerged as local Canaanite peasants sought to overthrow the corrupt regimes they lived in. Their action was fueled by a liberating faith in the deity Yahweh.[8] They dislocated to the previously unsettled Judean hills in order to form a more equal community. These ideals are reflected in the legendary stories of the Pentateuch, Joshua and Judges.[4]

Authored books[edit]

  • Studies in the Book of Lamentations. Studies in Biblical Theology 14. London: SCM, 1954. OCLC 925389 Reprinted, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2010. OCLC 503307711 (orig. PhD Thesis, Columbia University, 1953)
  • A Light to the Nations: An Introduction to the Old Testament. New York: Harper, 1959. Reprinted, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2009. OCLC 361062
  • All the Kingdoms of the Earth: Israelite Prophecy and International Relations in the Ancient Near East. New York: Harper & Row, 1964. OCLC 373937 Reprinted, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007. OCLC 838050718
  • The Church Unbound: A Human Church in a Human World. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1967. OCLC 1318974
  • The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E.. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1979.[1]OCLC 4503604
  • The Hebrew Bible: A Socio-literary Introduction. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985. OCLC 11549097
  • The Hebrew Bible in Its Social World and in Ours. SBL Semeia Studies. Atlanta: Scholars, 1993. OCLC 27770883
  • with Laura Lagerquist-Gottald. Pentecost 3. Proclamation 6: Interpreting the Lessons of the Church Year. Series B. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996. OCLC 36176433
  • The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E.. Reprinted, with a new Preface. Biblical Seminar 66. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999. OCLC 893336470
  • The Politics of Ancient Israel. Library of Ancient Israel. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001. OCLC 44469096
  • The Hebrew Bible: A Brief Socio-literary Introduction. Philadelphia: Fortress, 2008. OCLC 247441256
  • Social Justice and the Hebrew Bible. Vol. 1. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2016.
  • Social Justice and the Hebrew Bible. Vol. 2. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2016.
  • Social Justice and the Hebrew Bible. Vol. 3. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2018.

Edited books[edit]

  • Gottwald, Norman K., ed. The Bible and Liberation: Political and Social Hermeneutics. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1983. OCLC 8954335
  • Gottwald, Norman K., and Richard A. Horsley, eds. The Bible and Liberation: Political and Social Hermeneutics. Rev. ed. Bible and Liberation Series. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1993. OCLC 27895938
  • Coote, Robert B., and Norman K. Gottwald, eds. To Break Every Yoke: Essays in Honor of Marvin L. Chaney. Social World of Biblical Antiquity, 2nd ser., 3. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2007. OCLC 228497046

Festschriften[edit]

  • Jobling, David, Peggy L. Day, and Gerald T. Sheppard, eds. The Bible and the Politics of Exegesis: Essays in Honor of Norman K. Gottwald on His Sixty-fifth Birthday. Cleveland: Pilgrim, 1991. OCLC 24174005
  • Boer, Roland, ed. Tracking the Tribes of Yahweh: On the Trail of a Classic. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplements 351. London: Sheffield Academic, 2002. OCLC 27895938

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g George Thomas Kurian; James D. Smith, III, eds. (16 April 2010). The Encyclopedia of Christian Literature. Scarecrow Press. pp. 340–341. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Norman Gottwald". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Norman Gottwald". Center & Library for the Bible and Social Justice. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b Roland Boer (2011-04-29). "Norman Gottwald: A Pioneering Marxist Biblical Scholar". MR Zine. Monthly Review. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  5. ^ a b "Norman Gottwald". Claude Mariottini. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  6. ^ "About". Claude Mariottini. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  7. ^ Gottwald, Norman K. (22 October 1964). "Letters to the Editor: Academic Freedom". Life: 11. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  8. ^ William G. Dever (31 March 2006). Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8028-4416-3. p.53–54.

External links[edit]