Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (3 cr.)
REL-A 210 #26903
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 specific socio-historical 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.
Beginning Summer 2011: GenEd A&H, GenEd WC, CASE A&H, CASE GCC
Before Summer 2011: A&H, CSA, JS Religion & Thought