When our professors and students bring both intellectual rigor and enthusiasm to bear on the topic at hand, learning moves in powerful, unexpected directions.

LIST 503A or LIST 550A: The Bible and Your World: Sex, Race, and Power

Area: Ideas and Issues in Humanities and Fine Arts or Diverse Perspective
Instructor: Dr. Betsy Bauman
Course Materials: Syllabus

Course Description
The purpose of this course is to explore the ways in which the Bible, although composed two millennia ago, has impacted, and continues to influence important ideas, policies, identities and power structures in the 21st century. While this may seem surprising to some, others - institutions, politicians, individuals - claim authority and credibility by appealing to biblical texts. Our class will take six different biblical stories/accounts and examine them in light of biblical culture and context, including the classical world, and then trace thesis stories and their concomitant themes over time, through the vehicles or art, literature, religious texts and public policies. The course intends to be interdisciplinary and global in perspective, in the sense that we will discuss the ways that biblical themes affect all areas of human thinking and effort, and cross cultural boundaries in often aggressive and dehumanizing ways.

Required Book List
  • Kirsch, Jonathan. The Harlot by the Side of the Road
  • Morrison, Toni. Beloved
  • Kingsolver, Barbara. Poisonwood Bible
  • McClintock, Anne. Imperial Leather
  • Seraji, Mahbod. The Rooftops of Tehran
  • A Bible