HON 399 - Interdisciplinary Seminar- The Bible in Later Literature

TR 12:45 - 2:05   MH 208

Peter Meister and Daniel Schenker

It is impossible to be ignorant of the Jewish Bible without missing the heart of the Christian New Testament, or to be ignorant of either the Jewish or the Christian Bible without missing more than one wants to in an unpredictable variety of Western poems, novels and plays. In this course, you will be invited to pursue one such intertextuality on your own while we as a class look closely at Dante's use of the Bible, and at T.S. Eliot's use of both Dante and the Bible in The Four Quartets. The time span separating Dante from T.S. Eliot is roughly comparable to the span separating parts of the Jewish Bible from all of the Christian New Testament. Eliot's reverence for, but reworking of, Dante serves as an analogy for the way Jewish authors of the New Testament reworked received Scriptures with love and reverence. Our study of the Bible in later literature is intended to enrich our relationship to post-biblical works, but also to the Jewish and various Christian Bibles themselves.