CNRC 1911: Silencing the Gods: The Divine and Human in the Hebrew Bible

3 CreditsFreshman SeminarGlobal Perspectives

Discover a new world of meaning! Have your assumptions challenged! Where do the ideas of freedom and of universal human rights come from? The course attempts to “get behind” the overlay imposed by modern culture upon the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and to read it on its own terms. In order to do so, students will explore the fascinating literature and religion of the ancient Near East. We will read texts from ancient Mesopotamia, Canaan (Ugarit), and Israel, and discuss both the ideas found in them and their literary artistry. After investigating the literature of Israel’s neighbors, we will read biblical literature in dialogue with these stories, intellectually analyzing the narratives of the creation of the world, the origin of life, the great flood story, the idea of divine revelation, and the significance of law. Specific topics to be dealt with include: God, creation, fate, the point of human life, and the meaning of history. The assumptions of the course are academic and secular, as required by the First Amendment. All texts and all religious traditions will be examined analytically. Students are expected to understand and master this approach, which includes questioning conventional cultural assumptions about the composition and authorship of the Bible. Willingness to ask such questions and openness to new ways of thinking and reading are essential to successful participation in the course. previously offered as CNES 1911

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A Average (3.970)Most Common: A (91%)

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11 students

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