Christian Hofreiter – Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide

Episode: Matt interviews Christian Hofreiter (RZIM) on one of the most vexed issues in biblical studies … genocide in the Old Testament. Christian Hofreiter has been pondering this question for a long time, and has written a groundbreaking work on the subject – Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide: Christian Interpretations of Herem Passages (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Guest: (from the RZIM site) The Revd Dr Christian Hofreiter is Director of RZIM Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the Zacharias Institut für Wissenschaft, Kultur und Glaube, a Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, and, most recently, the author of Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide: Christian Interpretations of Herem Passages (Oxford University Press, 2018). A native of Austria, he has studied, lived and worked in Innsbruck, Brussels, London, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Oxford, and now lives with his family in Vienna, Austria.

From 2008-2012, Christian served with the Oxford Pastorate as a chaplain to the graduate student body at Oxford University, working closely with senior academics, leaders of various churches, and a broad variety of students. An ordained Anglican minister, he was also a member of the leadership team at St Aldates Church, Oxford.

In addition, Christian studied theology at Oxford University, earning three degrees (MA, MSt, DPhil), winning several prizes and scholarships, and gaining the top first class award in 2008. His doctoral research focused on the Christian interpretation of “genocide texts” in the Old Testament.

Before arriving in Oxford, Christian worked in a government relations firm in Washington, DC, which represented the interests of foreign governments and other clients to the United States Congress and Administration, and also served as deacon at the Church of the Resurrection on Capitol Hill.

Book: Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide: Christian Interpretations of Herem Passages (Oxford University Press, 2018) takes an historical look at how Christians through the centuries have addressed, wrestled with, and re-interpreted the ‘herem’ passages in the Old Testament. Herem is the practice of devoting people or objects to destruction (or removing them from use) at the behest of a deity. Hofreiter provides a critically rich and illuminating tour of the history of Christian engagement with these challenging biblical passages. ***For a 30% discount on the book, use the promo code AAFLYG6 on the global website (***

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2 Replies to “Christian Hofreiter – Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide”

  1. Todd Mehrkens

    This was my first episode of OnScript – I will definitely be listening to add’l episodes. Well done in SO many ways. This episode was highly engaging, insightful and informative. However, I found my self wanting it to continue another half hour – or even 20 minutes – as I was eager to hear much more about Christian’s insights and conclusions. I suppose the episode may have been intentionally designed to create that exact response, and so I will go searching. I did look at the book – and I love to buy books – but as you mentioned, the price of this book, even with the discount, gives pause and so I’ll be looking for some friends to share the journey with.

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