RLG325H1: The Uses and Abuses of the Bible


From politics to popular culture, the Bible has shaped people and nations for good and for ill. This course introduces the Jewish and Christian Bibles and considers case studies of how biblical texts have been interpreted. The Bible has been used to bolster slavery and white supremacy and to inspire political liberation movements. It has been used to justify annihilation of Indigenous people by Christian colonists yet given hope to Jews that next year in Jerusalem might be better. How can the same “book” be used for such different purposes? This course focuses on the cultural and political consequences of biblical interpretation. An underlying premise is that the Bible is not static but is rather a nomadic text as it is continuously interpreted in ways that sometimes contribute to human flourishing, but also can result in violence, human diminishment, or death.

Completion of 4.0 credits
Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)