Religious Studies | Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
A210 | 27801-27802 | M. Suriano

The above course carries Culture Studies A Credit
The above course carries COLL A & H distribution credit
Previously REL-R210
Today the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible influences and guides
contemporary religious communities and has left an indelible mark on
western culture in general.  Yet this corpus is a complex collection
of writings that were composed by past cultures informed by
ideologies and modes of living radically different from our own.
These books, which are collectively called the Bible in Judaism (or
by its acronym, Tanakh) and the Old Testament in Christianity, have
had a formative influence over confessional perspectives on divine
role in humanity and the cosmos.  At the same time, these writings
provide important insight into the religion, culture and history of
ancient Israel and early Judaism. Thus, the purpose of this course
is to explore the origins and compositional history of biblical
literature.  Towards this purpose, the class will draw from literary
and historical-critical approaches to examine the circumstances that
shaped what would become sacred literature in Judaism and
Christianity.  The lectures and assigned readings will alternate
between formal and historical analyses in order to survey the
different aspects of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.  This survey
will concentrate on selected texts in order to appreciate the span
of topics in the Hebrew Bible, from the creation myth to the
exploits of ancient kings to poems celebrating love and wisdom.