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Genesis: The Family Saga
/ COMP 207
/ JWST 208
The Book of Genesis has rightly been described as the masterpiece of Hebrew biblical narrative. In particular, the continuous tale that begins with Abraham and Sarah and extends four generations to the children of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel is one of the most extraordinary examples of literary artistry in any time or tradition. As one family wrestles with the promise of becoming a chosen people, the narrative explores themes of marriage, parenthood, sibling rivalry, land, violence, wandering, and, above all, the complex relationship between humanity and God. This course will examine those themes through a close reading of Genesis in translation, from Abraham and Sarah’s first appearance on the scene to the death of Jacob. We will consider the text from multiple perspectives with an eye toward understanding the literary, philosophical, and psychological dimensions that continue to amaze and perplex readers to this day.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
class participation, a series of short writing assignments, and two longer papers
students who have already taken a course in Biblical literature
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
JWST Core Electives