Trauma, the Bible, and American Identity

REL-A 300 — Spring 2020

painting of woman looking to the sky as a child lay on the ground
Laura Carlson Hasler
Days and Times
TR 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Course Description

This course is about how Americans use the Bible to interpret pain. We will ask: How are biblical stories about individual as well as communal suffering used to understand pivotal moments in American history? The first unit focuses on biblical stories of communal pain (exodus, conquest, exile) and how they are applied in America’s colonial period, its westward expansion, discourses on slavery, and the civil rights movement. The second unit addresses how biblical stories about individual pain (enslavement, sexual violence, or xenophobia) continue to shape American identities. Students will write four short papers, and a final assignment where you will dissect a contemporary piece of American biblical interpretation of your choice.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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