English 496a: The Bible as Text and Context
The first ten weeks of the class will comprise an intensive survey of selected biblical texts from the Old and New Testaments. As we investigate these readings, we shall be exploring various approaches to studying the Bible -- philological, historical, typological, mythological. In the remaining 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. The Book of Jonah will be read in conjunction with Shakespeare's Tempest, and Milton's Samson Agonistes will be read against Judges 13-16. Conversely, poems from George Herbert's Temple will be read in a variety of biblical contexts: The Song of Songs, Psalms, and Job, among others. Students will give five brief (10-minute) reports, write five short papers (2-3 pages) based on those reports, and write an 8 to 10-page term essay, on which they will also report.
Professor John C. Ulreich
Office: ML 494, office hours by appt.