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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: The Bible in Literature (DIVI08003)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers an introduction to the biblical stories and themes which echo throughout literature in English. An exploration of the differences between quotation, allusion and echo, and the notion of reception criticism, will be followed by a thematic survey of key biblical narratives, and examples of their use in literary texts will be discussed. The influence of the King James Version will be assessed, and other translations considered.
Course description Academic Description:
The course aims to enrich students' reading experience of texts in English by helping them to identify biblical themes in literary texts. In order to achieve this, the course offers an introduction to significant biblical themes and stories. The complexity and richness of the Bible, including the history of its composition and its own intertextual patterns, are explored. Biblical themes in poetry, drama and novels from a wide time perspective are considered, and their significance discussed. Theories about intertextuality are considered in relation to the Bible, and the history and influence of the King James Version of the biblical text is highlighted.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course will cover theoretical issues in the field, as well as offering an historical survey of selected biblical texts and their translations. Themes including creation and fall, exodus and exile, incarnation, rebirth, salvation and judgement will be covered, as will the role of characters such as biblical women and biblical brothers. Literature from a wide time period will be read, and will include texts such as Shakespeare's King Lear, the poetry of Christina Rossetti and Edwin Muir, and novels by George Eliot, Margaret Atwood and Marilynne Robinson.

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has a programme of three one-hour lectures plus a one-hour tutorial per week. There will be interactive elements to the lectures, and there is a schedule of reading to be carried out before each lecture and each tutorial. Each student will be required to give a short presentation at one tutorial during the semester on the text for the day. Through participation in lecture and tutorial discussions, as well as through the written work and the examination included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written degree exam (60%);
Two 1000 word essays, each worth 15% (30% in total);
Tutorial presentation 5% and tutorial participation 5%.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognise and discuss the history and interpretation of key biblical themes and stories.
  2. Identify biblical themes and stories in selected literary texts and assess their significance.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of theories of intertextuality as they relate to the Bible and literature.
  4. Critique secondary literature on the relationship between specific biblical and literary texts.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Alison Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 8944
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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