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The Bible in Literature: Good Books Inspired by the Good Book

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson wrote, “The Bible is the model for and subject of more art and thought than those of us who live within its influence, consciously or unconsciously, will ever know.” Robinson was referring to the myriad ways that writers through the years have drawn from the Bible as a source for gaining or translating ideas. In this course, we will examine notable instances of that translation by looking at stories that engage with the Bible through reference, retelling, and response. We’ll ask how comprehension of authors’ uses of biblical imagery and resonance can contribute to our understanding of their work. In addition to selections from the Bible, potential readings include excerpts from Dante’s Comedìa and Milton’s Paradise Lost, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Isak Dinesen’s “Sorrow Acre,” Elie Wiesel’s The Trial of God, Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation,” Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of how writers have been influenced by the Bible
  • Greater familiarity with common biblical imagery, themes, and tropes

Ideal for

  • Professionals who use critical thinking
  • The curious and creative
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.