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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, the cross and the empty tomb, salvation and judgement will be covered, as will the role of characters such as women in the Bible. Literature from a wide time period will be read, and will include texts such as the poetry of Christina Rossetti, T.S. Eliot and Edwin Muir, novels by Charlotte Bronte and Margaret Atwood and drama by Arthur Miller.

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)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  108
Course Start Semester 2
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 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% - Essay (1500 words)

50% - Final Essay (2500 words)

20% - Participation in the online Discussion Forum (including one 1000 word contribution)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
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
Gordon Campbell, Bible: The Story of the King James Version (OUP, 2010).

Alison Jack, The Bible and Literature (SCM, 2012).

Beth Hawkins Benedix, Subverting Scriptures: Critical Reflections on the Use of the Bible (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Terry R. Wright, The Genesis of Fiction: Modern Novelists as Biblical Interpreters (Ashgate, 2016).
Additional Information
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
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Alison Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 8944
Course secretaryMr Andre Johnson Hall E Vasconcelos
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