TH3301, undergraduate level, taught spring 2009, spring 2010, spring 2011
TH6311, graduate level, taught fall 2008
The course will survey the first five books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch, in the historical contexts of their composition, and through the history of interpretation in Judaism and Christianity. Special attention will be paid to the variety of methods of interpretation, including historical-critical (modern), traditional theological (pre-modern), and contemporary-critical (postmodern) methods.
By the end of the course the student will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of the historical context in which the Pentateuch first took shape.
- demonstrate knowledge of the basic themes presented in the Pentateuch.
- distinguish the variety of perspectives expressed in the Pentateuch.
- distinguish the variety of methods of interpretation applied to the Pentateuch.
- demonstrate knowledge of theological approaches to Scripture, particularly in the Catholic tradition.
- articulate informed reflection on the significance of the text and tradition today.
- A study bible based on the NAB (New American Bible), JPS (Jewish Publication Society), or NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) translation.
- Collins, John J. A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007.
- Kugel, James L. The Bible As It Was. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1997.
- Other texts are available from library reserves or the course website.
For undergraduates, TH2301 "Foundations of Theology" or SMC1314W "Foundation of Reflection: God"
Graduate students should consider refreshing their general knowledge of the Hebrew Bible by reading through all of John J. Collins, A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. (a non-short version is also available)