COLL-E 103 22756 The Bible and Its Interpreters (Weitzman)(A & H)(3 cr.)

Despite its age, the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament remains one of the most influential texts in our culture. It is also one of the most controversial. How did the Bible achieve this status. How has it managed to remain meaningful for so long and for so many? Why has the search for the Bible's meaning generated so much controversy?

"The Bible and its Interpreters" will examine these questions by exploring how Genesis and Exodus, the first two books of the bible, have been read by different interpreters over the centuries--ancient readers and modern critical scholars, Jews and Christians, fundamentalists and feminists. We will not only read Genesis and Exodus itself; we will also look at novels, poems, songs, film and other ways in which people have interpreted the Bible or tried to relate it to their own lives. Our goal is not only to learn about the Bible and its role in our culture, but also to explore the act of interpretation itself.

"The Bible and its Interpreters" will involve several short written assignments tied to course readings or other materials examined in class (art, film). Some of these exercises will be analytical (explicating a biblical episode, contextualizing an act of interpretation); some creative (adopting the persona of a famous interpreter and reading a biblical text from his or her perspective).