The Bible in the Ancient World

This course surveys biblical writings in their ancient social, political, and cultural contexts. Students learn comparative methods of literary and historical interpretation with special attention to how reconstructions of the ancient world affect our understanding of these writings. The goal of this course is to pursue questions concerning the history, meaning, and interpretation of religious texts and acts, and the broader contexts in which religion evolves by developing the critical skills needed to investigate historical and theological texts, terms, and narratives.