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April 5, 2016 @ EST 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm$207
Because of its place as a religious document in our culture and its many un-modern narrative elements, Genesis has often been unappreciated for its literary genius. This seminar will consider Genesis as a work of literature, focusing on the artistry of its narrative design, the interweaving of its main themes, and the subtleties in its presentation of character and motive. We will address such questions as: why the first two chapters offer such different views of the creation; what blind Isaac sees when Jacob comes to claim his brother’s blessing; with whom or what Jacob wrestles on the night before he must encounter Esau again; how the plot of Genesis is structured around the conflict of brothers; and how Genesis is designed as a “prequel” to the Exodus narrative. The course assumes nothing about religious faith on the part of participants. Everyone is encouraged to use the translation by Robert Alter (W. W. Norton, 1996).