The Bible's indelible mark on literature is not just in the stories that it tells, but in the way those stories are told. In this class, we will read and explore the compelling and subtle narratives of the Bible that have been so influential on the development of the Western literary tradition.
In this secular approach to a sacred text, we will examine the sophisticated psychological portrayals of characters such as Joseph, Moses and David. We will explore the relation between the Bible's charged narrative style and its understanding of the complexity and conflict inherent in human consciousness. We will pay attention to the Bible's idiosyncratic brand of irony, and its very definite but often overlooked sense of humor. We will also look at the relation between the omniscient narrator and the omnipotent deity, and we will explore how the Bible maintains a tense and masterful control of what it narrates. We will also read sections of the New Testament and look at the way that it radically re-interprets the Hebrew Bible.
No previous engagement with the text is necessary. Readings (using the RSV translation) will include the bulk of the Israelite narrative, from Genesis to 2 Kings, as well as selections from other Biblical writings including the Psalms and the Song of Songs. We will also read selections from the Gospels and other texts from the New Testament.
Sun, Sep 20, Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec 6, Feb 21, Mar 13, Apr 17 & May 1
Noam Scheindlin is Associate Professor of English at CUNY. He is contributor to the Proust Project and poetry editor for the interdisciplinary journal Warscapes. He is “first rate and heroic,” writes a 92Y student. “He is a gifted teacher, able to explain complex ideas with extraordinary intelligence, enthusiasm and humor.”
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Individuals who have participated in 92nd Street Y programs over the past year in selected program areas, participants in certain memberships, and those who have made contributions of $500 or more to 92Y, are eligible to register for programs before they become available to the general public.
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