Don Michael Hudson is a faculty member in the King College of Arts and Sciences where he is also the Chair of the Philosophy and Religion department. He specializes in the historical section (Former Prophets) of the Old Testament, and in particular, he is dedicated to understanding and reading the book of Judges in light of new Syro-Palestinian archaeological evidence in tandem with modern theory and methods (Academia.edu). Over the last ten years he has studied Iron Age 1 and 2 in Israel, Jordan, and Turkey. In Israel, he has directed King’s participation in the Lautenschlager Tel Azekah excavation led by Oded Lipschits and Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University and Manfred Oeming of Heidelberg University. Each summer he leads a team of undergraduate students to Palestine and Israel in pursuit of epistemological humility, excellence in scholarship, and nuanced thinking in regards to religion and geo-politics. The King Azekah team spends two weeks digging at Tel Azekah and 8 days touring the important sites of Palestine and Israel.
As a biblical scholar and a student of the New Hermeneutic, Don Hudson’s insistent goal has been to understand the development and function of the religious impulse in general, but more specifically, the religion of ancient “Israel.” In this vein he is currently completing a book entitled Reading Judges Again which profiles the most recent findings and artifacts from Syro-Palestinian archaeology in the Southern Levant and how these findings illuminate the book of Judges. Though Judges is most definitely a post-exilic, Judahite work we can view some of the earliest religious impulses of the historic Israel community, and we can trace the evolution and development of this particular religion through Iron 1 and 2 and into the Persian period.
For three decades now Don has studied and emphasized the need for a fresh approach to reading and understanding the Christian Scriptures especially as we move into the 21st century. Global, modern Christianity suffers the stigma of anti-science and anti-reason (rightly deserved), but more importantly, it also faces the stark reality of irrelevance in an increasingly complex world. Can we read the Christian Scriptures in a way that addresses the human condition in a relevant, helpful manner? Can we answer the question, “So What?” in meaningful, intelligent ways? What do these texts and narratives have to say to people in the modern age?
With these issues and questions in mind, he co-founded the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in 1996. He crafted the original vision of the school, hired faculty and staff, recruited students, raised funds, and designed the curriculum for the MA in Theology and the MDiv. He and his team developed all the courses in an attempt to redesign graduate studies for the 21st century. The Seattle School continues to thrive with over 200 graduate students annually. After joining the Philosophy and Religion department at Appalachian State, Dr. Hudson developed innovative pedagogies to engage college students with the pressing issues related to religion in the modern age. At King he has developed an innovative class titled Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice. As a central component to a liberal arts education it is important for students to understand and articulate the Judeo-Christian religion in the modern age. This class has been popular with students and has garnered national attention. This course is not only core to King University but also central to his teaching philosophy in regards to the relevance and limitations of religion. Each student must reflect critically upon his or her worldview, understand what an academic study of religion entails with a particular emphasis on determining the difference between moderate and militant religious expressions. As a final project, each student must produce an articulate, objective, informed presentation on the Judeo-Christian worldview as a foundation for global civilization.
He has also served as visiting professor at universities in Perth; Australia (1999), Vienna, Austria (1997); Kiev, Ukraine (1998, 1999); Monterrey, Mexico (2002); St. Petersburg, Russia (1998); Manila, Philippines (1994); London; England (1991); and Beijing, China (1999, 2000). Dr. Hudson has advised approximately 30 undergraduate and graduate students who have presented research at regional, national, and international conferences.
As chair of the Philosophy and Religion, Dr. Hudson has been actively promoting undergraduate research and scholarly activities in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Hudson also promotes education in his community by speaking regularly at churches, local high schools, community colleges, student organizations, and with local news media about religious violence and extremism and Iron Age archaeology in Israel. Dr. Hudson also serves on the governing board of the King Institute of Faith and Culture. The King Institute is dedicated to conversation on the issues of faith and culture. In this capacity he guides the internationally known lecture series in major decisions and serves as speaker and essayist.
Don has authored, co-authored, or edited five books and written over 50 essays and articles in journals such as Imagiato et Ratio, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, Mars Hill Review, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Inklings, The Everyday Study Bible, Sojourners, and Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. He also founded and co-directed the Mars Hill Review where he served as concept editor for nine years. He has given more than 300 research and public scholarship presentations in 47 states and 11 countries. He has also been a consultant with international organizations managing refugee populations in Germany, Austria, and Turkey.
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