What is the course about?
In the course of the day, we will read and analyse the stories of Miriam the Prophetess, Ruth the Migrant and Esther the Queen. We will explore the narrative using a variety of tools, including sociological and feminist perspectives. We will then examine a number of literary texts which have been inspired by the reading of these women’s stories.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
The story of Miriam in the books of Exodus, Numbers and Micah: the question of her function as ‘prophetess will also be analysed in the light of extra-biblical religious texts, as well as how the story has been read by a range of writers from the medieval period to the sixteenth century and modern times.
The story of Ruth is contained in the book of the same name. Her plight will be analysed in the context of the Torah and in a number of novels, including Elizabeth Gaskell,’s Ruth and Marilynne Robinson’s work.
Esther is also the name of a late biblical book, which will give us an opportunity to examine the complex relationship between women and political power. We will also look at examples of how this book has been re-read in various works ranging from early Jewish to modern times.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Analyse biblical stories relating to three biblical women.
• Introduce some of the tools used from feminist scholars.
• Appreciate the literary impact of some biblical texts about women 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 discussion and illustrated lectures.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a copy of the Bible.
No additional cost. Photocopies of some key texts will be provided.