Spring 2008

Close Reading: The Classics of Judaism and Christianity

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-20


Robert Doran (Section 01)


This seminar offers an opportunity for students to engage in the close reading of one or two classic works in the history of Judaism or Christianity. The texts chosen will vary from year to year. In 2007-08 the course will focus on the parables of Jesus. The parables are often seen as the most distinctive feature of Jesus' teaching. We will explore what kind of a literary figure is a parable: is it an extended metaphor, or does it owe something to the mashal pronounced by prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures? Can one "get behind" the parable as articulated by each gospel writer to recover an "original" formulation? We will look not only at parables found in the canonical scripture, but also those found in other early Christian writings. Second semester. Professor Doran.