News: Die großartige Antwort von Angela Merkel auf die Islam-Angst eines besorgten Bürgers

“Gegen terroristische Gefahren muss man sich wappnen und ansonsten ist die europäische Geschichte so reich an dramatischen und gruseligen Auseinandersetzungen, dass wir sehr vorsichtig sein sollten, uns sofort zu beklagen, wenn woanders was Schlimmes passiert. Wir haben überhaupt keinen Grund zu größerem Hochmut, muss ich sagen. Das sage ich jetzt als deutsche Bundeskanzlerin.”

At the University of Bern in Switzerland, one German-speaking lady asked Angela Merkel if the influx of refugees would bring about the threat of Islam to the Judeo-Christian root of Europe.

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Germany: Berlin, a City That Looks Back at the Past to Reinvent Itself in the Present

Berlin, the capital city of modern Germany, has an intriguing history.

A. 1200-1400

The Slavs who originally inhabited the region called it berl “swamp,” which sounded similar to the German Bär “bear.” Coincidentally, the first Margrave of Brandenburg Albrecht I was nicknamed “the Bear.” Therefore, it is not surprisng that the image of a standing bear has found its way on the guild seal, signet ring and coat of arms of Berlin. And there are even quite a few life-size statues of Buddy Bears on Berlin streets and squares.

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My dear brother cuddled with one of the Berlin Buddy Bears.

B. 1400-1918

In 1415 Friedrich I became the first from the Hohenzollern family to rule in Berlin. (more…)

Announcement: Two Articles Passed the Double-Blind Peer-Reviews

A year after the defense of my dissertation.

5 months after the tutorial I led.

Another semester has just gone by.

A tiny update from me to you: Two of my articles have passed the double-blind peer-reviews (abstracts can be found in my academia.edu).

They are accepted by two good academic journals.

ZAWThe first one is called Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (European Science Foundation Ranking A). Here is the link to the journal’s website:

http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/zatw

So if any of you has some new ideas about the scholarly research of any parts of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, you can just write it down, and email the editors for a peer-review. Don’t worry, they accept articles written in not only German, but also English and French. (more…)

Lecture: The Happy Ending in the Winter Semester 2014/2015

As a preamble to one of the last few lessons of the Hebrew tutorial I led on Ezekiel’s Oracles against the Nations (OAN), I showed the students the following anecdote (excerpt taken from http://tragicfarce.com/2012/09/06/gog-and-magog-are-at-work-in-the-middle-east-bush-told-chirac/):

But before Chirac could elaborate on that point, Bush veered into another direction.

“Jacques,” he said, “You and I share a common faith. You’re Roman Catholic, I’m Methodist, but we are both Christians committed to the teachings of the Bible. We share one common Lord”

Chirac said nothing. He didn’t know where Bush was going with this.

“Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East,” Bush said. ‘’Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled.”

Gog and Magog? What was that?, thought Chirac.

“This confrontation,” Bush said, “is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a new age begins.”

Chirac was bewildered. The American president, he thought, sounded dangerously fanatical.

After the call ended, Chirac called together his senior staff members and relayed the conversation.

“He said, ‘Gog and Magog.’ Do any of you know what he is talking about?”

Blank faces and head shakes.

“Find out,” Chirac said.

Well, guess whom the French government contacted to find out who Gog is? (more…)

Lecture: I Love Teaching!

Time flies! Can you believe that we’ve already passed the 9th week of this semester?! After the Christmas break, there’ll be 5 more lessons until I finish leading the course on Ezekiel’s oracles against the nations at the University of Göttingen. A few students and I, despite some initial struggles, still commit ourselves to climbing out of the warm beds and attending the class every Thursday morning at 08:15, and surely we’ve been rewarded with some fun in the class 😉 Here’s a summary of what we’ve done so far:

1. In week 2, we went through the ancient historiography relevant to the literary setting of the book of Ezekiel. Before the class, I cut out pieces of paper, on which were written relevant chapters and verses of biblical passages. In the class, the students rummaged through their bibles until they located those passages, and worked out what these texts were about. With several other quotes from extra-biblical sources, the students then rearranged the papers in a relative chronology and reconstructed the history of each foreign nation, taking into consideration the nation’s relation with Judah at the same time. After the students had presented the outcome on board, I then explained the history of each nation in more detail. This exercise, in my opinion, is a good way to get the students work closely with the primary sources. In this way, the teacher occupies less space to hand down year numbers, debates, facts and conclusions in a limited time span and opens more space for students to work out the inner logic of the data themselves. Here come the future historians! 🙂

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This is the history of the foreign nations that the students have reconstructed 🙂 In hindsight, I realize that I should have cut the pieces of papers in a bigger size, so that the words on the paper could be more clearly seen. Anyway, we were a small tutorial, so I ended up gathering the students around me and explained the history to them.

(more…)

Lecture: My First Teaching Day This Semester

Two days ago (on 23.10.2014), my excitement woke me up at 04.00. The chilling 6 degree Celcius could not damp or freeze my excitement. Having quickly climbed out of the warm bed, I reread the typed lecture notes over and over again. Just before my departure from home, I double-checked to make sure that the bibles, hand-outs, PowerPoints, computer, mouse, pens, sticky tapes and teaching cards were all lying safe and sound in my backpack. Then, I started my way slowly under the street lights to the university building where my first lesson in this semester was going to take place.

The whole building was lit up in warm yellow, there was one cleaner diligently mopping up at the entrance. (more…)

Announcement: Saying Hello to a New Semester!

Hallo zusammen!

To all students at the University of Göttingen, I volunteer to teach Ezekiel’s Oracles against the Nations (chapters 25-32) in this coming semester (WiSe 2014/2015). For more details, you can check out this link on UniVZ.

The "official" German ad about my course that I have written and stuck on the notice boards of the theological faculty :)

The “official” German ad about my course that I have written and stuck on the notice boards of the theological faculty 🙂

Yes, it is about my recently defended thesis 🙂

For practical reason, the classes will be cancelled if there are no more than five students for each class in the first two weeks… How cruel! ;-p

So I’m going to do a bit of promotion about this course. (more…)

Announcement: Fourth of July

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Today, Germany won the Viertelfinale. America celebrated its Independence. And I completed my defense. Magna cum laude – not a mark that I have wanted. But hey, to quote one of my friends: This is a comma, that means more room for me to develop and finish the sentence in the future 😉

Huge thanks to all who have supported and encouraged me and to all those who came to my defense today! Love you all so much!! 🙂

Announcement: A Job Seeker

A photo from last world cup? Taken from http://centralpasoccer.com/files/2010/10/mueller-goal-wc.jpg

After the defense, I will also be officially unemployed (graduation = unemployment?)

Therefore, if you are a potential employer or you know of any temporary research or teaching opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact me at qtcoconut@hotmail.com (I know this email address sounds a bit funny, but this is the mailbox I check most often ;p)

For your deliberation, I will tell you a bit about myself. And you can also ask me for my CV and other relevant documents. My bachelor, honours and PhD are all related to the Bible (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible) and its related languages (mainly Semitic languages – e.g. Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian). I am interested in any jobs related to the Bible.

Goal/Dream: (more…)

Announcement: An Invitation to the Defense

"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com

“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham http://www.phdcomics.com

Dear all,

4 years,

11 academic presentations (most of them are related to my thesis),

16 self-development courses (12 with certificates),

thousand pages of horrible drafts,

countless sleepless nights.

A few months after my 26th birthday, (more…)