English 107

The Bible as Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2019 Goldsmith, Steven
TTh 3:30-5 150 GSPP

Book List

New Oxford Annotated Bible, College Edition; Alter, Robert: Genesis: Translation and Commentary; Browning, W.R.: Oxford Dictionary of the Bible


In this class, we will read a selection of biblical texts as literature; that is, we will read them in many ways but not as 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 complexly sedimented in its historical layers.  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 a midterm exam, a paper, and a final exam.

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