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Don Michael Hudson is a faculty member in the King College of Arts and Sciences where he is also the Chair of the Bible and Religion Department. He is also a Research Fellow with the Palestine History and Heritage Project with the University of Copenhagen. Hudson’s specific area of interest is the historical section (Former Prophets) of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), and in particular, he is dedicated to understanding and reading the book of Judges in light of Syro-Palestinian archaeological evidence in tandem with modern theory and methods of study. Over the last ten years, he has studied Iron Age 2 in Israel, Jordan, and Turkey. In Israel-Palestine, he has directed King’s participation in the Tel Azekah excavation led by Tel Aviv University and Heidelberg University. Each summer he leads a team of undergraduate students to Israel and Palestine in pursuit of epistemological humility, excellence in scholarship, and nuanced thinking in regards to religion and geopolitics. Currently, he directs the King exchange program with Al Quds University, East Jerusalem with his colleague, Issa Sarai, and will participate in the excavations of al-Karmil in the Palestine territories. He will also join archaeologists in the excavation of a 5th century Byzantine site in Jordan in the next two years. In March 2020, he led a group of 21 students to Israel and Palestine functioning as a Faculty Leader with Passages Israel.
As a biblical scholar and a student of the New Hermeneutic, Hudson’s insistent goal has been to understand the development and function of the religious impulse in general, but more specifically, the projected religion of ancient “Israel.” In this vein, he is currently completing a book entitled Judges: A Theological Dissensus 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, and, most importantly, its redacted place within the discourse of ancient Israel-Judah. He views the use of Judges as a post-exilic document reifying the Judahite claim to a specific land and an amorphous history. Though Judges is most definitely a post-exilic, Judahite work, we can view some of the latest impulses of the post-exilic Judahite community, and we can trace the evolution and development of this particular religious impulse through Iron 1 and 2 and into the Persian-Hellenistic period. Through Judges, we can view the terminus of redacted theo-political historiography which becomes the genesis of both Jewish and Christian understandings of ancient history.
Also, 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 University 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 Bible 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, universities, student organizations, and with local news media about the religious impulse and its interaction with modern society.
Don has authored, co-authored, or edited five books and written over 30 essays and articles in journals such as Imaginatio 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 500 research and public scholarship presentations in 47 states and 14 countries. He has also been a consultant with international organizations managing refugee populations in Germany, Austria, and Turkey.
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