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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

Job, from the Bible to Kafka and the Holocaust (3 cr)
Herbert Marks
CMLT-C 345 Literature and Religion (31670)
2nd 8 week course
TR 4:00-6:30 (Woodburn 211)

A course on the relation between “justice” and its imperfect embodiments, morality and law, as presented in the biblical book of Job--“the greatest poem of ancient and modern times” (Tennyson)--and subsequent texts in the Job tradition. Topics will include alternative models of justice, suffering as a criterion of righteousness, and the competing claims of ethics and aesthetics. The first six weeks will be devoted to the biblical text, to its cultural and literary context, and to the rich tradition of commentary, ancient and modern. We shall then turn to a set of modern works--King Lear, Kant’s essay against theodicy, the drawings of Blake, Kierkegaard’s Repetition, Kafka’s The Trial, and essays by Primo Levi and Emmanuel Levinas, among others--which effectively reconfigure the biblical questions and paradoxes. Written work: a commentary on a biblical passage and a final paper.