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Speaking Truth to Power: Amos’ Moral Critique, Then and Now

Date: Monday, Aug. 23 | 7:00–8:30 PM EDT

“Hear this word which I intone as a dirge over you, People of Israel….You! Who spin justice into wormwood and hurl righteousness to the ground!” (Amos 5:1, 7) Join us in exploration of the famous oration of the prophet Amos as he laces into the ethical wrongs and societal challenges of the 8th century BCE. Human nature, hatred, cheating, greed, power…. his critiques, his laments and his vision for progress and a better future, are all eerily reflective of many modern societal and human behavioral challenges. What needs fixing in the tax system? Is the justice system unstable? Does bystander silence equate one with evil? Is ritual religion a joke in the face of ethical breakdown? Is deep cultural or religious change possible? We will analyze Amos’ haunting poetry, his psychological intuition, his skilled oratory sensibilities, and his timeless rhetoric. We’ll also explore how his words in this chapter have (famously!) been drawn on by various orators of the generations, as history’s wrongs and rights repeat themselves, and as we move toward a better tomorrow.

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