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: Saul Rosenberg

Section: A

CRN: 11106

Credits: 4

The Hebrew Bible presents us with the multi-layered and often confounding stories of triumph and disaster that the ancient Israelites told themselves about their origins; their enduring but sometimes tempestuous encounter with their deity; and their evolution from one family into a nation and a culture. Because its "story" sections are a (mostly) chronological tale told in prose, the Bible specifically invites reading as a kind of meta-novel made up of novel cycles, novels, novellas, and short stories. In this course, we will read some of the best-known (but sometimes misconstrued) stories from Genesis and Exodus; the tales of ancient Israel’s prophets and kings; and several individual “novels,” including the story of Samson, and the books of Jonah, Job, and Esther. We will also pay particular attention to the often unexpectedly dominant role played by some of the matriarchs and other women of the Bible, in which these crucial female figures direct the course of Israelite history. Through a close reading of this best-selling "novel" of all time, along with a consideration of relevant secondary sources, we will explore what we can discover in these narratives about ourselves and about family dynamics; exile, and homecoming; justice, war, and peace; church and state; power and authority; and sex, class, and gender.

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: No

Status: Closed*

* 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: 6:45pm 10/22/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Wednesday

Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 713

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