Religious Studies | Topics in Ancient Israelite Religion: King David in History and Literature
R410 | 25868 | Weitzman, S.


This course meets second eight weeks only.

A warrior also known as Israel's greatest poet, a ruler chosen by
God but also accused of murder and adultery, King David is one of
the most complex figures to emerge from the Bible. This course
explores David as both an historical figure and mythical character.
What do scholars know about the real David and what impact did he
have on Israelite history? Why does the story of David in 1-2 Samuel
rank as one of the great literary masterpieces of world literature?
And how did the highly flawed king described in this work become the
idealized figure celebrated as the author of the Psalms and the
ancestor of the messiah? In seeking answers to these questions, we
will survey a number of issues of concern in recent biblical
scholarship: the reliability of the Bible as an historical source;
the art of biblical narrative; and the meanings projected onto the
Bible by later interpreters and story-tellers.