Norman Gottwald

Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, New York Theological Seminary

Norman K. Gottwald (1926 - 2022) was Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at New York Theological Seminary and taught previously at the Graduate Theological Union and Andover Newton Theological School. His most influential book is The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E. (1979), a celebrated study of the origins of ancient Israel as an indigenous peasant uprising. His other writings include The Hebrew Bible: A Socio-Literary Introduction, The Hebrew Bible in Its Social World and in Ours, The Politics of Ancient Israel, and, as co-author, The Bible and Liberation: Political and Social Hermeneutics. Gottwald pioneered the use of social theory and method in biblical studies. He was a world-wide lecturer on the critical relevance of the Bible to contemporary social struggles and a citizen activist in numerous civil rights, anti-war, and pro-labor movements and organizations. As an ordained minister of American Baptist Churches USA, he was a strong advocate of popular biblical study committed to social change.