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Father Stephen Honeygosky, O.S.B., Ph.D, Seton Hill University’s Chaplain, assistant professor of English, and associate director of Campus Ministry, will teach a new course, “The Bible as Literature,” beginning in the fall of 2007. “The Bible as Literature,” will be open to Seton Hill students and to the public.

“I think this is a good way to do several things: first, foster education on the Bible, which will be the topic of the October 2008 Synod in Rome; second, respond to interest in the Bible at present across the culture (both academic and popular) and among all age groups including young adults (18 – 35); and third, contribute in a unique way here at Seton Hill through my double role as English professor and Chaplain,” said Fr. Honeygosky. “I also see this course as a way to extend campus ministry programming in a substantial, educational way.”

“The Bible as Literature” is an introductory course in reading the Bible, and includes, selectively, both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles (commonly referred to as the Old and New Testaments). The intent of the course is to approach the Bible as a literary text, and to read it, according to Fr. Honeygosky, as one would read Shakespeare, Lanyer, Whitman, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Woolf, Angelou, Steinbeck, or any favorite author.

“As in any introductory course,” says Fr. Honeygosky, “like Shakespeare, Poetry, American Literature, or Milton, one begins at the beginning. So, we begin without any presuppositions such as, one really should be a believing Jew, Christian, or Muslim to get the most out of the course and be very successful in it. Not so. Belief is not the issue in this course, just as one would not have to be a Roman emperor to appreciate shattered dreams in Julius Caesar, or a whale-chaser to appreciate compulsive questing in Moby Dick ….”

“At the same time,” he adds, “those who do profess a faith rooted in biblical texts will have an opportunity to deepen and broaden their biblical knowledge, and in turn, perhaps their faith.”

“The Bible as Literature” will be offered from 6 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings from August 30 , 2007 – December 13, 2007. Those interested in auditing the course may feel free to attend only the sessions containing topics of interest to them, as each session is designed to be self-contained.

“The Bible as Literature,” session topics:

Week 1/Aug. 30: Introduction - The Cheerios Approach: Tasting the Bible Again for the First Time

Week 2/ Sept. 6: Genesis: Story of Origins and the Identity of a People

Week 3/Sept. 13: Genesis continued

Week 4/Sept. 20: Exodus: Experience of Liberation, Founding of a Relationship, and Formation of a People

Week 5/Sept. 27: World News: Writing Israel’s History

Week 6/Oct. 4: Major Prophets: The Hometown Disadvantage

Week 7/Oct. 11: Minor Prophets: The Hometown Disadvantage Continues

Week 8/Oct. 18: Wisdom Literature: “Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This” -- Bad Days and Not-So-Bad--With Meaning-Making

Week 9/Oct. 25: Selected Psalms: Obsessions Then, Now, and Always – in Song and with Feeling

Week 10/Nov. 1: The Synoptics: Cyclops, Copy Cats or Creators?

Week 11/Nov. 8: Synoptics continued

Week 12/Nov. 15: The Second Part of Luke’s Two-Book Volume: Acts of the Apostles: Doubling, Miming, and Modeling

Week 13/Nov. 29: The Letters: “Dear Beloved Spiritual Olympians”

Week 14/Dec. 6: Reading and Believing in History: Seeing Stars ’n More

Week 15/Dec. 13: Final Examination

Seton Hill students who register for this course will receive credit toward the English major and/or the Liberal Arts core requirement in Theology and may register for “The Bible as Literature” as they would for any other course at Seton Hill. Members of the public may also register for this course by calling the Registrar’s office at Seton Hill: 724-838-4218. Course fees for non-Seton Hill students are as follows: members of the public who wish to audit the course will be charged the $100 technology fee only; the course is also offered to the public as a three credit course at $615 per credit + the $100 technology fee.

If you would like more information on “The Bible as Literature,” please contact Fr. Stephen Honeygosky (in July) at honeygosky@setonhill.edu or (in August and afterwards) also at 724-830-4762.