The Bible and the Environment

Spring 2018
Area I
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course explores the theme of the environment in the Bible against a broad backdrop of scholarly research on religion and science/ecology. Students will be oriented to the subject matter through readings and lectures by experts in the biological sciences, environmental studies, and at the cross-section of biblical studies/ theology/ethics/religion and science/ecology. Students will then read a variety of biblical texts and traditions which deal with the environment, and explore the history of their interpretation and application in different periods and contexts. The research paper will focus on one such biblical text/tradition.

Background Expected: 

General knowledge of the Bible’s contents.

Course Requirements: 

Regular attendance and class participation based on engagement with the required reading. One unexcused absence allowed; each subsequent unexcused absence will result in a 10% reduction of the course grade.

Critical review (1,250 words) of an assigned reading, presented to the class (10-minutes), followed by 5-minute Q & A, and submitted in electronic format within two days of the presentation (deadline: midnight).

Research paper (20-25 pages; at least 5,000 words + footnotes + bibliography) focusing on the interpretation of a biblical text or tradition on the theme of the environment; outline and 10-15-entry bibliography due by the end of Week 6; paper due by 5pm on the Thursday of Finals Week.

Basis of Evaluation: 

Class participation: 25%

Reading report/class presentation: 25%

Research paper: 50%