The purpose of this exercise is to conduct a brief examination of the book of the prophet Amos employing the ‘three-world’ organizing framework for

The purpose of this exercise is to conduct a brief examination of the book of the prophet Amos employing the ‘three-world’ organizing framework for literary analysis.  At the same time, it is an opportunity to explore the book about the oracles and life of one of Israel’s great prophets, the function of prophecy as a concern not for foretelling but of forthtelling, a call to reform and transformation.  The prophets were also poets, and the oracles bear witness to an oral and written genre that has shaped the ‘consciousness and consciences’ of people and civilizations for millennia.  As a result of this analysis of Amos, you should also gain a sense of the meaning of being prophetic today in response to the many challenges of the Church and the world that we have inherited and are passing on.     


You could consult a biblical commentary for this exercise if you wish, but your work should be primarily the result of your analysis.  Do indicate what sources you consulted. (This is not a paper; it is an exercise.)

Follow the outline below and use it as the template of your writing:

  1. An introduction to the book that includes your reactions to reading Amos.  This should be written following the reading and writing process (.5 page).
  2. Briefly describe the ‘world behind the text’ of Amos by identifying the book’s historical context (.5 page).
  3. Conduct a partial literary analysis on Amos’s world of/within the text (1 page outline format).

Focus on three aspects:

  1. The imagery in Amos and how it offers examples of how its artistry can communicate its main exhortations more effectively.  The prophetic oracles are richly poetic, galvanizing imagery taken from various sectors of life: natural, agricultural, cultic, commercial, political, and cultural.  To do so, describe the imagery employed for the ruling class of the Northern Israelite kingdom, the poor (the majority of the population at the time), imagery regarding justice/injustice, and other images.
  2. Identifying the layout and features of the book similarly alerts the reader to the creative way its central message is effectively delivered.  For example, the type of genre employed, geographical references, structure, and tenor.
  3. What is the ‘theology’ of Amos?  How is God envisioned/presented? How does Amos interpret “the day of the LORD,” which was typically imagined as the day/time of national vindication?
  4. Consider ‘the world in front of the text’ of Amos.  Focus on today’s audiences: How does/can Amos’ prophetic message address today’s many societal and global challenges?  What does it challenge people today to do?  Where do you see resistance to a message like this?  How are/can people be prophetic today?  (1 page)

Submission Instructions:  

  • The paper must be clear and concise, and students will lose points for improper grammar, punctuation, and misspelling.
  • The paper is to be no shorter than 3 pages in length and no more than 3.5 pages in length. The student will automatically lose points if these limits are not followed.
  • Journal articles and books should be referenced according to the current APA style (the library has a copy of the APA Manual).
  • The work should be academic, written in an academic voice.

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