Exploring the Psalms: Songs of Faith and Doubt


The psalms were written well over 2000 years ago, and some of their imagery may seem strange, disturbing, even inappropriately violent; yet they are so recognisably human. They cover the gamut of emotions from praise and celebration to anger, grief, and anguished bewilderment. Some are deeply personal poems; others transmit the memories and hopes of a nation. 

We will delve into this ancient poetry afresh, examining its characteristic features and discussing the ongoing power of its metaphors. We will consider the difficulties involved in translating the psalms, and discover how they have inspired later poets. We will look at the use of the psalms in the New Testament, and explore their place in liturgy, both Jewish and Christian. 

No Hebrew is required – we will be reading the psalms in English translations.  It would be helpful to bring a Bible.

Programme details

9.45am  Registration

10.00am  The Poetry of the Psalms

11.15am  Coffee/tea

11.45am  Praise and Lament

1.00pm  Lunch

2.00pm  National Memory and National Disaster

3.15pm  Coffee/tea

3.45pm  The Psalms in Judaism and Christianity

5.00pm  Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition only £80.00
Baguette Lunch £5.50


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Ann Conway-Jones


Dr Ann Conway-Jones is an honorary research fellow at The University of Birmingham and The Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education.  She specialises in early Jewish and Christian biblical interpretation.  She combines her scholarship with over 20 years’ experience of teaching adults.


Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then plesae contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email res-ctr@conted.ox.ac.uk for details of availability and discounted prices.