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BA2/3/9007S

Narrative in the Hebrew Bible

Elective unit for postgraduates
also offered online

Content: This unit examines biblical literary criticism, with particular regard to the narrative texts of the Hebrew Bible. It explores the nature of literary conventions and devices employed by the biblical authors, such as type-scenes, repetition, characterization and the use of dialogue. The unit considers how literary art enhances the message of the texts, using literary analysis of specific narratives from, among others, the Abraham and Joseph narratives, Judges, Ruth, the stories of Saul’s rise and fall, and the story of David’s rise.

Learning Outcomes: On the successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

Undergraduate

  1. Demonstrate a familiarity with a range of literary critical tools.
  2. Effectively use literary critical tools in examination of specific texts.
  3. Identify, articulate and explain a variety of scholarly approaches to literary criticism of the Hebrew Bible.
  4. Critically evaluate the use of biblical narrative in popular culture.
  5. Level 3 only: Demonstrate a capacity for self-directed and sustained research into the literary critical approach to a specific narrative text.

Postgraduate

  1. Demonstrate a familiarity with a range of literary critical tools.
  2. Effectively use literary critical tools in examination of specific texts.
  3. Discuss a variety of scholarly approaches to literary criticism of the Hebrew Bible.
  4. Critically evaluate the use of biblical narrative in popular culture.
  5. Demonstrate a capacity to research a specific narrative text in a rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner, using appropriate literary critical methodology.

 

Faculty: Merryl Blair

Pre-requisite:

undergraduate: BA1001S Introducing the Hebrew Bible or equivalent
postgraduate: BA1001S Introducing the Hebrew Bible or equivalent

Offered: 2017 in semester 1

Class time: Thursday afternoons 1.30-4.30pm (Two hours lecture / one hour tutorial per week)

Assessment:

Level 2:
One 2,000 word essay (50%)
One 1,000 word critical reflection on set reading (20%)
One 1500 word tutorial paper (30%)

Level 3:
One 2,500 word essay (50%)
One 1,000 word critical reflection on set reading (20%)
One 1,500 word tutorial paper (30%)

Postgraduate:
One 3,000 word essay    (50%)
One 3,000 word tutorial paper (exegetical)        (50%)

Select Bibliography:

Alter, R. The Art of Biblical Narrative. New York, Basic Books, 1981.
Amit, Y. Reading Biblical Narratives: literary criticism and the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis, Fortress, 2001.
Andersson, G. Untamable texts: literary studies and narrative theory in the books of Samuel. New York, Continuum, 2009.
Berlin, A. Poetics & Interpretation of Biblical Narrative. Sheffield, Almond, 1983.
Brenner, A, & Polak, F (eds). Words, Ideas, Worlds: biblical essays in honour of Yairah Amit. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2012.
Exum, J. Plotted, shot and painted: cultural representations of biblical women. Sheffield, Sheffield Academic, 1996.
Exum, J. & D. J. A. Clines (eds), The New Literary Criticism & the Hebrew Bible. Valley Forge, Trinity Press International, 1993.
Sternberg, M. The Poetics of Biblical Narrative. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1987.
Trible, P. Texts of Terror. Philadelphia, Fortress, 1984.
Walsh, J. Old Testament Narrative: a Guide to Interpretation. Louisville, Westminster John Knox, 2009.
Zeelander, S. Closure in biblical narrative. Leiden, Brill, 2012.