Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
| N390 Biblical Themes in Modern Hebrew Literature (3cr)
N390 | 3028 | Katz
N390/N695 Biblical Themes in Modern Hebrew Literature (3cr/3cr)
Time and Day: 2:30p-3:45p MWF
Prof. Stephen Katz
* Second Eight Weeks
This course satisfies COAS requirements for AHLA.
Having trouble telling Cain from Abel without a program? Or what was wrong with David
marrying Bathsheba? 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. 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 literature, 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
Uriah felt about David as his king and the one who stole his wife from him, or who the real hero
was in the story of the Binding of Isaac (the akeda), come and join us.
This course meets for the SECOND EIGHT WEEK SESSION. Final grade will be based on
attendance, quizzes, a midterm and a final exam. Term papers will be optional, except for