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CTI 304 • The Bible And Its Interpreters
MWF 1000am-1100am CBA 4.326
(also listed as
R S 315 )
*Instructor changed to Professor Lesley-Anne Dyer*
This course aims at wide-ranging familiarity with "The Bible" as it have been understood through dominant traditions of biblical interpretation within both the Jewish and Christian communities. We will pursue this aim through extensive reading of the scriptures themselves and some of their most influential exegetes. The thematic question of the course will be how belief in divinely-inspired narrative shapes both Jewish and Christian identities. Reading selections from scripture will focus upon major people and events in Hebrew and Christian traditions. We will also consider how these historical realities are retold by and appropriated within the poetic, prophetic, and theological books of scripture in order to draw meaning from history. That is, how does scripture interpret the "literal" meaning of scripture? Alongside the scriptural text, we will read selections from various historical interpreters, including: Josephus, Midrash, Philo of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Augustine, Origen, Hugh of St. Victor, Rashi, Abelard, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Milton, Wesley, Spinoza, De Lubac, Childs, and Heschel.
Bi-weekly reading responses consisting of a question, selection from the reading, and a paragraph of reflection. A short paper comparing scriptural text with a literary or modern adaptation of the text (6pp.), and a long paper expanding one of the reading questions into a more thorough reflection (10pp.). Midterm and Final Exams.
This course is flagged for Global Cultures and Writing. In connection with the Writing Flag, for the longer papers each student will be required to submit an early draft, to be revised after peer and instructor review, and to review the draft of another student.
The Bible (Oxford World's Classics) by Robert Carroll and Stephen Prickett (May 15, 2008).
James Kugel. The Bible As It Was (Belknap Press, 1999).
Yarchin, History of Biblical Interpretation: A Reader (Baker Academic, 2011).
Recommended: James Kugel. Traditions of the Bible (Harvard University Press, 1999).