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ENG 450   
Fall 2003  Thursday 5:30-8:20 STV 214

 Monotheism § Midrash § Masochism
Diocrès Expounding the Scriptures
Limbourg Brothers
illuminated manuscript, 
Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York

public domain files
Bible Gateway

Three Translations of the Qur'an
Another Translation of the Qur'an
Audio Qur'an

Course Description
We’ll study and apply radical Rabbinical methods of thought, connect them with Deleuze’s & Guattari’s “stoned” schizo-analysis* and read the three authorizing text-fields of Monotheism and beyond with an eye toward the masochistic underpinnings of what Kenneth Burke calls the “sacrificial principle” and toward formulating alternative, non-exchangist forms of being.   (Individual hermeneutic results may vary.)


1-August 21
Course Introduction/The Song of Deborah/Alter

2-August 28
Genesis: A New Translation With Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible, Vol 1). 1964. Ephraim A. Speiser

3-September 4
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Phyllis Trible/”Sacrifice of Sarah”-Tiritilli
4-September 11-
Judges, Ruth
Introduction to Rabbinic Literature.
Jacob Neusner.  Anchor Bible Reference Library 1999  
Midrash & Literature:
Introduction; Hartman's "The Struggle for the Text," Kugel's "Two Introductions to Midrash"
Kenneth Burke/Rhetoric of Religion-Aljenfawi
5-September 18

Moses and Monotheism.  Sigmund Freud. Random House 

"Esther Passes: Chiasm, Lex Talio and Money in the Book of Esther"
6-September 25
Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture
(New Historicism-Studies in Cultural Poetics , No 25.) Daniel Boyarin, 1995.
7-October 2
Midterm Midrash Essays Symposium
8-October 9
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
 Auerbach-"Figura," " Figura Preserves: History (in) Ajar"
9-October 16
Acts, Paul's Epistles
The Undoubted Letters of Paul by date of Composition:
First Thessalonians (ca.  51) Galatians (54) First Corinthians (ca. 56) Second Corinthians (ca. 56)
Romans (ca.  57) Philipians ca. 62? 56?) Philemon ca. 62? 56?)

Works of the Pauline School
Second Thessalonians (ca. 51) Colossians (62?) Ephesians (?)
The Pastoral Letters (ca. 125?):
First Timothy, Second Timothy, Titus

The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies. Marcel Mauss, W. D. Halls (Translator), Mary Douglas W.W. Norton & Company; (August 2000)  
10-October 23

The Gift of Death (Religion and Postmodernism)
Jacques Derrida, David Wills (Translator). University of Chicago Press; (June 1995)
11-October 30
Venus and Furs.  Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. With Coldness and Cruety/Gilles Deleuze.  Zone, 1991. 
Titian and Raphael paintings  referenced in Venus in Furs.


12 November 6
Last Temptation of Christ. Nikos Kazantzakis. [1960]  Translated from the Greek by P. A. Bien. Touchstone Books; Reprint edition (March 1998)
Lcoverast Temptation of Christ (Scorsese 1988)
13 November 13
Thesis Statement Presentations
14 November 20
Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations
Michael Sells.
White Cloud Press, 1999)
15  November 27 Thanksgiving-no class
16 December 4
 The Qur'an

No complete Bible will be ordered at the bookstores, rather we’ll rely on the techno- midrashic miracle of where all of the following translations are but a mouse-click away: New International, New American Standard, Amplified Bible, New Living Translation, King James, New King James, 21st Century King James, English Standard, Contemporary English, American Standard, Worldwide English (New Testament) Young's Literal, Darby, Wycliffe New Testament, New International-UK--nor has any hard copy of the Qur'an been ordered--rather we'll employ several on-line versions.

Selected essays, chapters, excerpts from among:

Robert Alter/Art of Biblical Poetry, A.J. Arberry/The Koran Interpreted, Augustine/Confessions, Eric Auerbach/Figura, Walter Benjamin/On Language as Such and on the Language of Man, Harold Bloom/Book of J,  Kenneth Burke/Rhetoric of Religion,  Hans-Georg Gadamer/Truth and Method/, Soren Kierkegaard/Fear and Trembling, Emmanuel Levinas/Totality and Infinity, Friedrich Nietzsche/Genealogy of Morals. Yours Truly/Esther Passes, Figura Preserves, Theodor Reik/Masochism and Modern Man, Mark Seem/Translator’s Preface to Anti-Oedipus, Phyllis Trible/Sacrifice of Sarah

Course Requirements
Please have (freshly) read (over the Summer) the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), Judges, Ruth, Esther, Job, Psalms, and the Books of  the New Testament.  No other first-hand familiarity with the Bible or Qu'ran will be required or assumed.

Format of Course
Seminar/discussion. Students will:
1) post  500 word minimum weekly responses to readings/lectures/discussion via WeBoard;
(please post by Wednesday 8 pm)
2) write an 8-10 page midterm essay engaging some aspect of midrash and Biblical Hermeneutics; 
3) g
ive in class a (twenty-minute maximum) critical presentation on a critical text from the list below;
4) write a 18-25 page publishable paper related to this course work.

Bible Gateway
Three Translations of the Qur'an
Another Translation of The Qur'an
Audio Qur'an
Merriam-Webster Dictionary/Thesaurus
the Gutenberg Project

Bill McBride/STV 336                                                      
OFFICE HOURS/Fall 2003 R 2:30-4:30p

Voice: 309 438 7998

I reserve the right to amend this syllabus.

    * "A schizoanalysis schizophrenizes in order to break holds of power and institute research into a new collective subjectivity and a revolutionary healing of mankind,  For we are sick, so sick, of our selves!
    It is actually not accurate to say that Deleuze and Guattari develop the schizoanalytic approach, for as they show, it has always been at work in writers like [Henry] Miller or Nietzsche or Artaud.  Stoned thinking based on intensely lived experience: Pop Philosophy."

Mark Seem's "Introduction" to Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia [1977], Deleuze and Guattari, Minnesota, 1983, p. xxi.


   Critical Presentations Schedule

9/4 Phyllis Trible/”Sacrifice of Sarah” from Not In Heaven: Coherence and Complexity in Biblical Narrative-Tiritilli

9/11 Kenneth Burke/Rhetoric of Religion-Aljenfawi

10/16 Harold Bloom/Book of J Gillhouse

Georges Bataille/Erotism: Death & Sensuality-Szymanski

Friedrich Nietzsche/Genealogy of Morals-Ramseyer

John D. Caputo :"The Time of Giving, the Time of Forgiving" from Wyschogrod, Goux, Boynton (Editors) The Enigma of Gift and Sacrifice Klassen

Robert Alter/Art of Biblical Poetry

A.J. Arberry/The Koran Interpreted


Walter Benjamin/”On Language as Such and on the Language of Man”

Hans-Georg Gadamer/Truth and Method

Soren Kierkegaard/Fear and Trembling

Emmanuel Levinas/Totality and Infinity

Theodor Reik/Masochism and Modern Man

Max Weber/The Sociology of Religion

Rene Girard/The Scapegoat

Susan L. Mizruchi/The Science of Sacrifice

William James/Varieties of Religious Experience