Dr. Anathea Portier-Young returned to the Advanced Degree Program this summer and brought the house down at her live public lecture which took place on the evening of June 15, 2022. See the link below in order to view the recording.
About the Lecture
Dr. Portier-Young’s lecture, Miriam's Dance as Embodied Prophecy, examines the prophetic qualities of Miriam’s dance in Exodus 15:20-21. In the Old Testament passage, Miriam leads the women of Israel in drumming, dance, and chant as they celebrate God's victory at the Reed Sea. Is her dancing, and the dancing of the women she leads, prophetic? Portier-Young answers “yes,” and unpacks the dance of Miriam and the women as an act of prophecy that mediates divine power of possibility—possible movements, actions, relationships—to and for God’s people. The coordinated, responsive, and artful movement of bodies through space and time also mediates the people’s praise to God. In this dance, prophetic performance assigns new meaning to traumatic memory, reinforces cultural identity and values for a people on the move, and forges patterns of responsive relationship for and movement toward a life in covenant freedom.
About Dr. Anathea Portier-Young
Anathea Portier-Young is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Duke University. She is the author of the award-winning book Apocalypse against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism (Eerdmans) and co-editor with Gregory Sterling of Scripture and Social Justice: Catholic and Ecumenical Essays (Lexington). Her book Prophecy in the Body: Experience, Affect, Action, Interaction will be published by Oxford University Press. She is a frequent contributor to workingpreacher.org.
Portier-Young earned her PhD in Religion/Hebrew Bible at Duke University, where she has also taught Old Testament, Hebrew Bible, and Early Judaism for more than 15 years. She holds a BA in Classics from Yale and Master of Arts in Biblical Languages from Graduate Theological Union. She is an expert in early Jewish literature, biblical prophetic literature, preaching from the Old Testament, biblical traditions of violence and nonviolence, and gender, sexuality, and the body in the literature of the Old Testament.