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The Bible (The One Series)

ENGL 4500.301
TR 5:15-6:44pm

No single book is as influential to English literature as the Bible. Many of us have encountered the Bible before in school, religious practices, or popular culture, but this course invites you to take the time to read the Bible as a work of literature. Together, we will encounter familiar yet mystified stories: Cain’s murder of his brother Abel, Jonah’s experience inside the whale, the “apocalypse” and revelation of Jesus Christ, and more. In addition to reading and analyzing parts of both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament (all in English), we will have the opportunity to study actual printed and manuscript Bibles from the Middle Ages to the present in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts. We will also read select poems and short fiction, and study some visual art, film, and criticism, to understand the Bible’s multifaceted influence on later writers, artists, and thinkers (Kierkegaard, Milton, Blake, Melville, Kafka, Elizabeth Bishop, Marx, Freud, Harold Bloom, Camille Paglia, and more). All students are welcome in this course, whether they’ve studied the Bible their whole lives or never read a single passage before. Assignments will include brief research exercises and short writing in various forms. For the final projects, students will have the choice of a critical essay or creative project.


English Major Requirements
  • Literature Seminar pre-1700 (AEB7)
  • Literature Seminar pre-1900 (AEB9)
  • Sector 3 Medieval/Renaissance (AEMR)
English Concentration Attributes
  • Medieval/Renaissance Concentration (AEMC)
College Attributes