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Handbooks Courses Units

HYM4175 - Interpreting the Bible: Jewish and Christian perspectives

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Michael Fagenblat


Clayton First semester 2008 (Day)


Judaism and Christianity and both text-centred religions and, as such, the practice of interpretation invariable mediates the authority of the text. Interpretation is the way in which the authority of the text is extended and contested. This course examines the interpretive methods as well as the theological and ideological content of practices such as: Midrash, allegory, legal interpretation, mystical symbolism and multi-levelled approached to the text. Focus will be given to the historical contexts in which such practices arose and to their socio-political investment, as well as to the differences and similarities of Jewish and Christian approaches


Students who successfully complete this course will be able to demonstrate:

  1. a comprehensive knowledge of the strength, status and scope of claims to authority made both by and for the Bible in Jewish and Christian traditions.

  1. knowledge of the historical, theoretical and cultural issues involved in claiming authority for any sacred text.

  1. Understanding of the basic interpretive practices that have been applied by Jewish and Christian communities to the Bible.

  1. skills in evaluating and applying different kinds of exegesis and hermeneutic theory.


1.Essay (5000 words): 70%;

2.Class presentation Equiv. to (4000 words): 30%

Contact hours

2.5 Hours


JWC4010, JWM4010, JWM5010, HYM4175, HYM5175, RLT4090, RLM4090, RLM5090

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