420: Literature of the Bible Fall 2002
(Cross-listed with RELI)
Selections from the Bible will be read in connection with various works of English and American literature, poems, short stories, and plays. The first nine weeks of the class will be devoted to an intensive survey of selected biblical texts from the Elder (Hebrew/Jewish) and Younger (Greek/Christian) Scriptures. As we investigate these readings, we shall also be exploring various approaches to studying the Bible (philological, historical, typological, mythological). In the remaining six weeks, we shall read selections from the Bible as contexts for other works of literature in order to discover some of the ways that writers draw on the Bible as a source of language, imagery, and story. For example: the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) will be studied in connection with poems by Shakespeare, Milton, and others; the Book of Jonah will be read in conjunction with Shakespeare's Tempest and (selections from) Melville's Moby Dick.
The class will be conducted primarily by discussion, punctuated by occasional lectures. Written requirements will include 3 or 4 short essays, occasional quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam.