Adam and Eve; Abraham, Sarah and Hagar; David and Bathsheba: stories and afterlives of biblical marriages

Course Dates: 21/03/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

The course examines some of the literature which stemmed from well-known biblical stories about marriage, and considers how and why communities continued to engage with and rewrite biblical stories.


What is the course about?

This study day will examine three clusters of biblical narratives focusing on biblical marriages. We will consider the stories of Adam and Eve; Abraham, Sarah and Hagar; and David and Bathsheba. These stories have been taken up by Jewish and Christian communities across centuries as they struggled to make sense of the stories themselves, and chose to interpret them in the light of their own socio-economic circumstances. Each cluster will focus on a different problem: the place and function of women vis-a-vis men in society (Adam and Eve), dealing with infertility (Abraham, Sarah and Hagar) and adultery (David and Bathsheba).

What will we cover?

• Adam and Eve
• Abraham, Sarah and Hagar
• David and Bathsheba.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

· Analyse biblical stories relating to three sets of texts focused on famous biblical marriages.
· begin to use some of the tools used from biblical scholarship, in particular the reception of biblical texts.
· Appreciate the literary impact of some biblical texts about biblical characters outside the Bible.
· Understand the factors at work in the transformation of these stories in various literary works.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Anyone is welcome, although some knowledge of the Bible is desirable, but not essential. More importantly an openness of mind and a willingness to engage with a variety of views is required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will use look at the stories in their original setting, and will be organised around group discussions and illustrated lectures.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There is no extra cost. Please bring a copy of the Bible.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might be interested in HRS37: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Leah and Rachel, Joseph and his brothers: stories and afterlives of biblical siblings - also taught by Ann Jeffers, on 30.5.20.

Tutor Biographies
Ann Jeffers

Dr Ann Jeffers taught Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism) at Trinity College Dublin and Heythrop College, University of London for 30 years. She is now Research Fellow at Roehampton University. Her research interests, and publications are in the field of magic and divination in the Bible and the ancient world, feminism and reception history of the Bible mostly in literature and the visual arts. She also belongs to an interdisciplinary research group, ‘Media and Religion’.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HRS36

Sat, day, 21 Mar - 21 Mar '20

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £47.00
Concession: £30.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.