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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2007

T C 301 • Uses and Abuses of the Bible

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44655 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
WAG 210

Course Description

We will study some representative cases of the ways the Bible has been used, and sometimes abused, through the centuries. We begin with Genesis, Exodus, parts of the books of Samuel and Kings, Job, the gospel of Mark, and parts of the gospel of John in order to understand what the original authors meant by their works. Because popular books, like The Da Vinci Code and Adam, Eve and the Serpent, have renewed interest in ancient writings that did not get included in the Bible, we will read a selection of these, including The Life of Adam and Eve, The Gospel of Thomas, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. These will be followed by selections from the Koran, which contains variations on the biblical stories. We will then read two seventeenth century authors, Thomas Hobbes and John Milton, who used biblical themes and problems in their philosophy, literature, and politics. We will end with a selection of other uses/abuses of the Bible, possibly feminist, Native American, or anti-slavery interpretations.

About the Professor

A. P. Martinich, Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor of Philosophy and Professor of History and Government, is the author or editor of many books and articles, most of which concern language, religion, or the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. His book, Hobbes: a Biography was awarded the Robert Hamilton Faculty Book Award (2000). He has been a Faculty Fellow for many years and was twice named Faculty Fellow of the Year.

Grading Policy

Two essays, 300-600 words (2-5 pages) each: 20%
An essay, 1200-3000 words (5-8 pages): 25%
An essay, 1500-4000 (6-10 pages): 25%
Class discussion, including one individual or joint presentation: 20%
Final examination: 10%


The Bible (selections)
Koran (selections)
Selections from apocryphal works
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
John Milton, Paradise Lost (selections)
A. P. Martinich, Philosophical Writing (3rd edition)


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