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Spring 2012 Undergraduate English Courses: Special Topics

351:320 Bible as Literature

01 MTH2 CAC 77494 MILSTEIN MH-210

    
This course same as 563:394:01 and 840:393:03

01-Transformations of the Book of Genesis
Perhaps more than any other book in the Bible, the Book of Genesis has triggered numerous interpretations and creative retellings since its composition. This is hardly surprising, given the compelling and sometimes outrageous nature of the material: the origins of humanity; narratives of incest, trickery, rape, and revenge; and the accounts of Israel’s first contacts with God. In this course, we will read and analyze Genesis on its own terms, in its own ancient context, and evaluate critically later “transformations” of Genesis, ranging from ancient (e.g., the Book of Jubilees; rabbinic literature; Christian readings) to modern (e.g., novels; short stories; poetry). How do later writers interpret, play with, or manipulate the details of the original texts? What limits do certain writers place on themselves, and what liberties do others take with the material? And what is it about Genesis that later writers still find so compelling? This course will include a major creative component, in that students will produce their own range of literary responses to Genesis throughout the semester. All readings will be in English.