Spring 2023

Folklore and the Bible

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-262


Susan Niditch (Section 01)


The Hebrew Bible is a rich anthology of traditional, communicative media including a range of genres that might be compared to the folktales, myths, proverbs, riddles, symbolic dramas, and other creative works of more familiar contemporary cultures. This course introduces students to the cross-discipline of folklore studies and explores the ways in which that field in comparative literature enriches our appreciation of Israelite literature. We will explore the ways in which professional students of traditional literatures describe and classify folk material, approach questions of composition and transmission, and deal with complex issues of context, meaning, and message. Topics of special interest include the relationships between oral and written literatures, the defining of "myth," feminism and folklore, and the ways in which the biblical writers, nineteenth-centure collectors such as the Brothers Grimm, modern popularizers including film-makers such as Walt Ddisney, cartoonists, and the creators of contemporry advertisements recast peices of lore, in the process helping to represent, shape, or misshape us and our culture.

Spring semester. Professor Niditch.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: This course aims to teach students how to read and appreciate traditional literature and the ways in which such traditions develop and evolve. An emphasis is placed on learning how to assess and appreciate texts and visual media within their historical and social contexts, both ancient and modern. Assignments will include frequent brief essays and work in small groups.

RELI 262 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM OCTA 200
Th 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM OCTA 200


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023