Undergraduate Course: The Bible in Literature (DIVI08003)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This 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.
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.
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 will be delivered through a combination of lectures, online material, a schedule of reading tasks and a one-hour tutorial each week. Each student will be required to participate in online discussion forums related to their tutorial groups and to write both a coursework essay and a final essay. In this way, they will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
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
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One 1500 word essay (30%);
One 2500 word final essay due during exam period (50%);
Participation in the online Discussion Forum (including one 1000 word contribution) (20%)
In order to pass the course, students must obtain a minimum of 40% in both the in-course work (combined mark) and the final essay.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||2:00|
|Resit Exam Diet (August)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Recognise and discuss the history and interpretation of key biblical themes and stories.
- Identify biblical themes and stories in selected literary texts and assess their significance.
- Demonstrate an understanding of theories of intertextuality as they relate to the Bible and literature.
- Critique secondary literature on the relationship between specific biblical and literary texts.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- Empathy and imaginative insight, with a tolerance of diverse positions
- Capacity for reflexive learning
- Writing skills, including clear expression and citing relevant evidence
- Ability to engage critically with the meaning of documents and recognise that meanings may be multiple
|Course organiser||Dr Alison Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 8944
|Course secretary||Mr Rory Meehan