Readings in the Hebrew Bible: Genesis


The Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible has remained as the mythological foundation of Western culture. Genesis has informed Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theology. If that weren’t enough, Genesis contains a great and memorable cycle of stories from Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, just to name a few. These stories permeate our literature, our art, indeed our sense of identity. The narrative itself is the beginning of a greater epic of liberation, including the rest of “the five books of Moses.” What is this book? How was it written? Who wrote it, and for whom? Who preserved it? How do we read it so that its ancient perspective, its social and historical context, is not lost? In order to recover this ancient context, we will also read contemporary writings such as The Babylonian Creation story, as well as the Epic of Gilgamesh. This course may be taken in conjunction with The Wisdom Tradition (spring) as a yearlong seminar.