REL 1310 Jewish Biblical Literature in Context

This course introduces students to the critical study of biblical literature, focusing on the text known as the Hebrew Bible, Jewish Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament. We will explore the Bible in light of the ancient contexts in which it was composed, while also studying the way that ancient Jews and Christians interpreted and transformed the meaning of biblical texts.  We will read the Bible’s narratives, poems, proverbs, prophecies and laws, and consider its diverse approaches to topics such as power, holiness, gender, nature, love, death, God, and the relation of the people of Israel to other peoples.


4 sh

Course Types

Classical Studies Elective; Middle East Studies Elective; IGS: Middle East Regional Concentration; Jewish Studies Elective; Interreligious Studies Elective


  • Spring

Previous Course Number

REL 131

Course Outcomes

  1. Students will differentiate the diverse ideas and modes of expression found within the text of the Bible
  2. Students will demonstrate their ability to think critically about the socially constructed nature of that which can be categorized as “religious.”
  3. Students will recognize and describe breadth and diversity within particular constructions of religion.
  4. Students will recognize and explain ways in which “religion” has cultural, political, and economic significance and/or ways in which cultural, political, and economic phenomena have religious significance.
  5. Students will produce nuanced reflections on ways that religious traditions and religious communities have interacted with other religious traditions and communities throughout history.

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