Jewish Studies | Biblical Themes in Modern Hebrew Literature
L390 | 25562 | S. Katz
JSTU-L 390 Biblical Themes in Modern Hebrew Literature #25562 (3 cr.)
Topic: Biblical Themes in Modern Hebrew Literature - Stephen Katz
MW 4:00-5:15 p.m.
Having trouble telling Cain from Abel without a program or what was
wrong with David marrying Bathsheba? Here’s a course which will
guide you through selections from the Hebrew Bible to have them
stick in your mind and make you wonder.
In this course, we will focus on a select number of stories from the
Hebrew Bible (all in English translation) to contemplate specific
issues which they raise. Rather than using higher Biblical
Criticism, we will use selections from modern Hebrew literature
(also in English translation) which either tell or retell stories
set in biblical times.
More than any other literature, Hebrew literature is closely
connected linguistically and thematically with the (Hebrew) Bible.
It not only shares a language with its ancient literary sources to a
degree not found in the case of other modern languages, but it also
identifies its accounts as especially pertinent in contemporary
times and circumstances. In many ways, Hebrew literature today has
been “rewriting” the Bible in the image of our times. This statement
will be explored by sampling select readings in this course.
If you want to find out how modern writers of Hebrew literature see
how people lived in the times of the Bible or why they saw that it
was only “natural” for Cain to kill his brother or how Uriah felt
about David as his king and competitor for his wife’s affections or
who the real hero was in the account of the akeda, the Binding of
Isaac, this course is for you.
Final grade will be based on attendance, quizzes, a midterm and
final, and a written assignment. Term papers are optional, except
for graduate students.
Fulfills: Jewish Studies Language/Literature or Religion & Thought