The Bible As Literature (Reading Our World)

During the Spring 2017 semester, Dr. Timothy Shea has been teaching The Bible as Literature, a new installation of the English Department’s Reading Our World course series. This course asks the question, “Why read the Bible in a literary way?” and “How does the literary lens expand one’s understanding of the Bible?” It invites students to analyze and to interpret a collection of Bible stories, poetry, sermons, and apocalyptic texts through both a literary and cultural lens. The class also explores aesthetic themes, cultural traditions, canon formation. Students read, discuss, question, argue, and perform their own interpretations of this great text while grappling with its themes as found in music, film, and art adaptations. Furthermore, Dr. Shea invited a diverse group of biblical scholars, artists, and teachers, who lead the class in discussions of literary aspects of specific biblical passages. Dr. Shea works to both broaden and deepen students’ understanding of the Bible as an essential and expansive piece of literature that is an integral element of Western literature.

—-Hannah Halter, Graduate Assistant