The Bible as Literature: Historical Traditions
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Course Number: NLIT 3803
Course Format: Lecture
Permission Required: No
The body of literature written in Hebrew well over 2000 years ago and variously called The Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible has played a pivotal role in many of the world's literary traditions. We study certain portions of these writings, stressing their narrative features and the way they incarnate elemental forms: fable, short story, romance, proverb, and disquisition. We read Israel's traditional account of its past in Genesis (chapters 12-50) and portions of the Exodus narrative. We read of the Hebrews' settlement in Canaan in Judges, including the rousing story of Deborah, as well as the enigmatic and tragic tales of Jephthah and Samson. We read of the torment of Job and the wise, world-weary cynicism of Ecclesiastes. Various visual resources and commentaries will facilitate our quest for the meaning of these ancient texts.
Course Open to: Degree Students