Asking the question, “What did the Bible mean?” has engaged the discipline of historical-literary analysis. Asking the question, “What does the Bible mean?” has engaged the discipline of theology and historical-theological biblical exegesis. However, asking the question, “What might the Bible mean? Has the potential to open up to the investigator the multivalent layers and possibilities of meaning, which has attracted various approaches of literary analysis.
To this end, this Graduate Seminar aims to introduce students to the innovative avenues of utilizing and applying various theories and methodologies of literary analysis to the Hebrew Bible/The Old Testament and the Christian Bible/The New Testament (as focus texts). Accordingly, the utilization of a variety of theories and methodologies of literary analysis will not only unearth latent aesthetic mechanisms of the Biblical texts, but will also demonstrate how these mechanisms serve and enhance the ideological (religious, moral, historical, national, ritual, social) messages that are molded and delivered by these Biblical texts. Students will have the opportunity to engage, utilize and apply in an analysis of Biblical texts structuralism, post-structuralism and deconstruction to name a few; but also feminism and gender analysis, intertextuality, ideological criticism, postmodern theory and postcolonial theory.