Spring 2012

The King James Bible:  Readings and Research


Anston L. Bosman (Section 01)


Two thousand and eleven marks the 400th  anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, the most widely printed book in the English language.  Built on a century of English translations by writers from Tyndale to Cranmer, the new Bible was a masterpiece of intellectual collaboration and has had an incalculable influence on the language, literature and culture of the western world.  This seminar will read substantial parts of the Old and New Testaments in the King James version and explore the 1611 text, along with its precedents and afterlife, as a foundation for research in literary and cultural studies.  A unique interdisciplinary object--not so much a book as a library of books--the King James Bible provides and opportunity to explore and synthesize resources and method in linguistics, rhetoric, the arts, popular culture, religion, politics, and education. Students will practice both close and contextual reading, and they will learn how to frame research topics by means of analyzing past approaches and identifying open questions.  Final projects may vary in form but will develop out of colloquy with the instructor and seminar members–a form of collective work best exemplified by the King James Bible itself. This course is part of a new model of tutorials at Amherst designed to enable students to engage in substantive research with faculty.  It is open to juniors interested in developing a senior thesis project.

Limited to 6 juniors. Admission with consent of the instructor. Spring semester.  Professor Bosman.

If Overenrolled: Admission with consent of the instructor.


Writing attentive


2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012