The Hebrew Bible: How to Read Sacred Text as a Novel

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Religion

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

HebrewBible:SacredText asNovel

Fall 2021

Taught By: Fran Snyder

Section: A

CRN: 11106

Credits: 4

The Hebrew Bible is a collection of tales about one people’s impassioned encounters with their deity. They try mightily to fulfill their god’s conviction that human beings can achieve justice in the world, even in warfare, in matters of interpersonal violence and sexual jealousy, in unequal economies in which the rich ignore the poor, in the raising of children. But humans rarely get it right, and that failure is the keystone achievement of this ancient book. It’s overarching question is, What does a ferocious and controlling sovereign god do with terminally recalcitrant humans, and humans with their baffling overlord? In this course, we read the Hebrew Bible for its literary qualities and investigate its concepts of authority, power, political ascendancy, and gender dominance. Syllabus readings include the early book of Genesis, the law codes of Exodus and Leviticus, Prophets, the masterful political saga of Samuel and Kings, and the late Wisdom literature. We also investigate the contemporary and pervasive quoting of “Scripture” for the purpose of fashioning the Hebrew Bible's god as a political partisan and the Hebrew Bible itself as a source of proof-claims for power.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Religion (LREL)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 13, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 21, 2021 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:23pm 5/6/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Wednesday

Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 8/30/2021 - 12/13/2021