HUM 288

The Ideas of the Bible

Even though the Biblical materials stand at the foundation of the Western tradition, common knowledge of the Bible is at a low point. The popular debate often gets polarized into two extreme positions: the Bible holds all truth, or the Bible is irrelevant. Yet many modern discoveries on archeological sites or in the archives now provide a much clearer idea of the way the Biblical materials are put together over the centuries, and the way the Biblical authors respond to each other, developing, critiquing, and reinterpreting ideas in the political and cultural crises of their times. Students study a selection of materials from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, not only to appreciate the depth and complexity of what the Bible ?says? in its own original contexts, but also to reassess what it ?says? to the modern world?with its very different cosmology, anthropology, and political and social structures?about human responsibility to the planet and to fellow human beings about the recognition of human destructiveness and the hope for survival.