Course Description

In the modern period an enormous amount has been written about the genesis of Genesis, the history behind the first book of the Bible. Prior to the critical era, however, perhaps even more has been written in commentary upon the Book of Genesis, forming a history before the text (the history of the book’s reception). These two approaches to the history of Genesis can seem radically different. Indeed, some commentators today still hold that the dawn of the historical-critical era marks a definitive break with traditional interpretation, for good or for ill. Then again, others now seek to combine what can be known about worlds behind and before the Book of Genesis into a more comprehensive theological vision. In this course we will explore histories of Genesis in parallax, seeking above all to let them shape our understanding of the Book of Genesis as a core part of Jewish and Christian scripture from antiquity down through the present day.

Download the Syllabus (Winter 2017)

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Required Texts (Winter 2017)

Gary A. Anderson. The Genesis of Perfection: Adam and Eve in Jewish and Christian Imagination. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002. ISBN 978-0664226992.
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Jon D. Levenson. Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0691163550.
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Iain Provan. Discovering Genesis: Content, Interpretation, Reception. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016. ISBN 978-0802872371.
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Please note that textbook selections for my courses usually change with each iteration of the course.