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Class Highlight - The Bible as a Literary Work

Studying the Bible as literature

What class?

LSTD 4213 – A Critical Review of the Bible as a Literary Work

Why is it cool?

Have you ever read the Bible for the sake of the stories themselves? What could you learn by approaching the Bible as a piece of literature, not just a collection of religious rules?

The fact is, no other book has influenced the development of Western culture more than the Bible. Written over the course of about 1,500 years, it’s a book of law, poetry and short stories, with compelling settings, characters and action. It’s meant to be read, not just interpreted.

In A Critical Review of the Bible as a Literary Work, students will experience the Bible through a new lens. Religious or not, they’ll explore its stories, poems and parables at face value. As students delve into the book’s history, they’ll focus on when the texts were written, for whom and for what purpose.

As students study the Bible’s language, images and character development, along with its metaphor, symbolism and irony, they’ll see the personality and position of God change throughout the book. They’ll also see how the book’s historic tales and diverse cast of characters still resonate today.

Setting aside preconceived notions and focusing on the literary forms of the Bible’s passages, students will find a new understanding of the book’s meanings and truths. Ultimately, students will be able to develop informed opinions about the Bible and even challenge their own prior assumptions about the book.

Talk to your advisor to see if this class might be right for you, or see what else is offered by the OU Extended Campus College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

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Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.