Literature and Theatre - The Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis: Sources, Influence, and Afterlives
John J Gallagher
The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and arguably one of the most influential texts for Western civilisation. In this lecture we will examine the development of the Book of Genesis and place it within its context of near-eastern origin narratives. We will explore the ancient sources and concepts drawn upon in Genesis (such as primeval chaos, Creation, and the Flood) and how these ideas are treated within the text. After charting its origins, composition, and canonisation as scripture, we will move on to examining the place of the book within Late Antique and medieval scientific understandings of the universe. The behemoth influence this text has exerted over literature will then be touched upon before considering the role of the Book of Genesis today, as both literature and scripture for communities of faith. From Milton’s Paradise Lost to modern-day Flood theme parks, this lecture will explore how this biblical text has influenced western culture in terms of art, science, and faith.
Semester 2: 8 week course
beginning on Thursday 30 January 2020
Course fees: Standard £65, Concessions £60
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