|Instructor Info:||Alan Hodder|
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The English Romantic, William Blake, characterized the Bible as "the Great Code of Art," an observation that finds repeated illustration throughout the Western literary tradition from medieval mystery plays to the latest fiction of Toni Morrison. By the same token, biblical stories form the bedrock of the scriptural traditions of Christians, Muslims, and Jews the world over. What are these stories that have so captivated readers for over 2000 years? Why has the Bible had such an immense religious and imaginative appeal? This course introduces students to the full range of biblical literature from the stories of Genesis to the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. While the course emphasizes literary features of the Bible as it has been rendered in English, we will also consider important religious, moral, and theological implications. Among the biblical texts considered will be the foundational stories of Genesis and Exodus; the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth; the stories of David and Kings; the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon; the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel; New Testament gospels; Acts of the Apostles; and the Book of Revelation.
The main objective of this course is to offer students from a range of backgrounds and with a wide array of academic interests an extended opportunity to familiarize themselves with the most influential books of the Bible as they have been rendered in the tradition of the King James Version. While approaching the Bible primarily from a literary standpoint, we will also consider relevant historical, theological, and moral considerations prompted by this literature, as time permits. Our general approach will be respectful and critical both.
(1) Two mid-term papers (3 pages each, due in class Feb. 12 and March 26 respectively
(2) Participation in one group presentation
(3) Final research project (8-10 pages, due in my mailbox at EDH on Monday, May 5)
(4) Regular attendance and participation in class discussions
Please Note: Anyone with more than three unexcused absences during the semester will not receive a final evaluation for the course.
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