Fall 2011Return to Fall 2011 Course Listings
ENGL334 - The Bible as Literature
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Did you know you are surrounded by religious symbols and metaphors? The Historian; The Matrix; The Life of Pi; The Wizard of Oz; The DaVinci Code; Babette’s Feast; Beauty and the Beast; The Hours; StarTrek; … not to mention classics such as The Divine Comedy; the King James Bible; Paradise Lost; the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Melville … How about The Dave Matthews Band; Creed ... and Bach, Mozart, Verdi… Where did our religious metaphors come from? Are they really still relevant? How do I know one when I see, read or hear one? How do I read a religious metaphor? This course focuses on religious metaphor as a shared phenomenon of both scriptural texts and non-scriptural texts in Western culture. We will identify, analyze and interpret some of the biblical metaphors held in common between these sources. We will develop a familiarity with such terms as religion, ultimacy, epistemology, symbols, scripture, hermeneutics. This is NOT a course in biblical history NOR a bible study experience, but a course in biblical metaphor. The Bible is a major source of contemporary, Western religious metaphors. A priority will be to see how these metaphors appear in our own cultural experience. Readings and lectures will be focused on methodological and theoretical concerns; written assignments will be your opportunity to analyze particular texts of your own choosing (these texts may be drawn from various media including literature, art, music or film). The course includes discussion preparation, one biblical text presentation, two small assignments, one term paper and one exam.
Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of department.
Degree Requirements Met
English major and minor course requirements
- Group One
- Literary, Linguistic, and Rhetorical Analysis
- Group Two