Religious Studies | Religions of the West
R152 | 10021 | Magid


This course will survey and analyze the impact Genesis 22 (the
binding of Isaac) has had on both the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim
tradition. We will read texts and secondary literature from the
three traditions chronologically, beginning with essays on the
Hebrew Bible and the targumin (Aramaic translations of the Hebrew
Bible). We will then move to Pauline and early rabbinic literature,
later rabbinic and Patristic literature, and medieval Jewish
philosophical and Christian scholastic material. We will then survey
some classical and more modern Muslim literature on this episode. We
will conclude with Soren Kierkegaardís use of this biblical motif as
the foundation for modern existentialist thought and compare it with
modern interpretations of the Akedah in contemporary Jewish
philosophy. We will use Genesis 22 as an occasion to talk about
Jewish, Christian and Muslim methods of exegesis as well as more
general issues and methods in comparative religion. The hope is that
this course will serve to widen the students understanding of her
own religious tradition in light of and in spite of another
tradition that shares its Scripture. Moreover, it will enable the
student to become more intimately familiar with another traditionís
use of the Bible as the foundation for its religious identity.
This course carries Culture Studies distribution credit.
*Additional discussion session