The course aims to familiarize students with the content and structure of the Bible and its seminal influence in the development of Western civilization. Students are expected to engage critically with readings of selected biblical texts, and to gain an understanding of major issues in biblical scholarship.
In the first part of the course, students will approach the Bible as literary texts in the context of the Ancient Near East and the Hellenistic world; as a collection of books, written over a millennium by authors with diverse backgrounds and in a wide range of genres; and as the product of a complex history of textual transmissions, translations and canonization. Students will be exposed to the original languages of biblical texts, Hebrew and Greek, and to methodologies in critical reading of these texts.
In the second part, students will assess the multi-faceted impact of the Bible on Western civilization and on
contemporary society, from historical, literary, cultural, and media perspectives. Illustrations will be drawn from the development of the English language and literature, biblical content as portrayed in modern media, and the different forms of Christianity around the globe and in the local context.