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Unit information: The Bible in the Academy in 2016/17

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Unit name The Bible in the Academy
Unit code THRS20093
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Campbell
Open unit status Open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

The unit will provide an outline of the history of the academy's encounter with the Bible, including both historical-critical (e.g. redaction criticism) and post-historical-critical approaches (e.g. the Bible as literature). It will then turn to one particular biblical book (e.g. Deuteronomy) and the different ways in which it has been understood by scholars over the years, focusing on a particular approach or approaches (e.g. Feminist Criticism). The impact of the ancient manuscripts among the Dead Sea Scrolls will also be considered. Each week the tutor will give a one-hour lecture on a relevant key theme (e.g. content and structure of the biblical book concerned), while a second hour will be a seminar in which students discuss specific aspects of that theme in small groups and then report to the whole class in the final fifteen minutes. All ancient sources will be used in English translation. This unit aims to provide the means to understanding:

(1) the overall nature of the Bibles reception in the academy;

(2) the different ways in which a given biblical book has been handled by scholars;

(3) the results of one particular approach or set of related approaches to that biblical book.

It also aims to:

(4) provide appropriate opportunities to develop skills in critical thinking and in written and oral communication.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be expected to have gained a critical understanding of:

(1) the overall nature of the Bibles reception in the academy;

(2) the different ways in which a given biblical book has been handled by scholars;

(3) the results of one particular approach or set of related approaches to that biblical book.

They will also be expected to have acquired:

(4) general skills in critical thinking and in written and oral communication appropriate to level I.

Teaching details

1 Lecture and 1 seminar per week. The tutor will give a one-hour lecture on a relevant theme and this will be followed up by a one-hour seminar in which students discuss an aspect or aspects of that theme in small groups and then report back to the class in the final fifteen minutes.

Assessment Details

One summative coursework essay of 2500 words (50%) and

one unseen examination of two hours consisting of 2 questions out of 6 (50%).

Reading and References

  • Old Testament Guides; New Testament Guides; Guides to Apocrypha & Pseudepigrapha;
  • J Barton, Reading the Old Testament (1997);
  • J Court, Reading the New Testament (1997);
  • J. Barton & J Muddiman (eds), Oxford Bible Commentary (2002);
  • DN Freedman (ed), Anchor Bible Dictionary (vols 1-6; 1992);
  • JH Hayes (ed), Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation (vols 1-2; 1999)

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