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The Bible as Literature

ENGL 033.001
instructor(s):
MWF 1-2

This course is a study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and New Testament, concentrating on Biblical genres: narration (Genesis, Samuel, Judges); poetry (Judges, Samuel, Psalms, Song of Songs, Job); wisdom (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes); prophecy (Exodus, Amos, Isaiah); and gospel narratives, parables, epistles. In our discussions, we will concentrate on central Biblical metaphors that have been taken up by authors who counted on their readers to be thoroughly acquainted with the Bible: creation as ordering, the plenitude of God's power, the covenant with God, the journey from slavery to freedom, the inner voice, the renewal of a barren land, the coming to the light, the responsibilities of the shepherd, the soul as child. Students will be expected to become familiar with some basic works of Biblical scholarship. Accompanying the reading of the Bible will be reading of short works by authors who made rich and subtle use of Biblical symbols: George Herbert, John Milton, Gerard Manley Hopkins and others. We will also look at some Renaissance paintings that depend on Biblical iconography and that depict Biblical scenes.