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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

VT: The Bible and Empire (3 cr)
Laura Carlson Hasler
JSTU-J 303 Arts & Humanities Topics in Jewish Studies (10556) / REL-A 300 (29331)
M 3-5:10 pm (BH 139)
CASE A&H; credit given for only one of J303 or REL-A 300 with this topic

This course examines several books in the Hebrew Bible that are set in the midst of empire. The course will proceed by conducting close readings of these narratives with special attention to the dynamics of imperial encounter within them. The approach of the course will be largely literary, but it will also address historical and compositional factors. The major questions of the course will be: What are the many (and, at times, conflicting) ways these Bible stories represent imperial power? What theologies of religious and political power are discernable in these texts? What strategies of compliance, collusion, and resistance are privileged and disparaged? Together, our aim will be to articulate and grapple with the challenges and complexities of reading biblical literature forged in the shadow of empire and to form our own methods of interpreting such literature today.