Near Eastern Languages and Cultures | Biblical Themes in Modern Hebrew Literature
N695 | 16001 | Katz
Having trouble telling Cain from Abel without a program? Or what
was wrong with Moses bringing the Children of Israel out of Egypt?
How about a course which will guide you through selections from the
Bible so as to have them stick in your mind and make you wonder?
In this course, we will focus on a number of stories from the Hebrew
Bible (though all readings will be done in English translation) to
contemplate specific issues which they raise. Our chief topics for
the term include the stories of Creation, the akeda (the binding of
Isaac), and the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.
Rather than introduce you to biblical (higher) criticism, I plan to
share with you some modern works of Hebrew literature (also
translated into English) which either tell a tale set in biblical
times or use key lines and phrases from the Bible for purposes which
we will try to understand.
More than any, Hebrew literature is closely allied with the (Hebrew)
Bible. It not only shares a language to a degree not found in the
case of other modern languages as they refer to their ancient
literary sources, but it also identifies its accounts as especially
pertinent to contemporary times and circumstances. In many ways,
Hebrew literature has thus "rewritten" the Bible in the image of our
times. The specifics of this will be explored through the selections
we will read in class.
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 Moses is re-
imagined by modern Hebrew writers, or who the real hero was in the
story of the Binding of Isaac (the akeda), come and join us.
Final grades for the course will be based on attendance, quizzes, a
midterm, and a final exam. Term papers will be optional, except for
Fulfills: Jewish Studies Language & Literature course; AHLA/A&H