English C107

Junior Coursework: The Bible as Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2007 Goldsmith, Steven
Goldsmith, Steven
MWF 1-2 4 Le Conte

Other Readings and Media

New Oxford Annotated Bible, College Edition; Oxford Dictionary of the Bible; Alter, R.: Genesis


In this class, we will read a selection of biblical texts as literature; that is, we will read them as anything but divine revelation. We will take up traditional literary questions of form, style, and structure, but we will also learn how to ask historical, political, and theoretical questions of a text that is multi-authored, thoroughly fissured, and historically sedimented. Among other topics, we will pay special attention to how authority is established and contested in biblical texts; how biblical authors negotiate the ancient Hebrew prohibition against representing God in images; and how the gospels are socially and historically poised between the original Jesus movement that is their source and the institutionalization of the church that follows. Assignments will include at least a take-home midterm and a final, perhaps more.

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