What you'll learn
- What’s in the Bible, the book containing the sacred scriptures of Christians.
- An overview of contents with a focus on diverse interpretations of well-known passages.
- Exploration of select themes, such as how Christians approach diversity, attitudes toward non-Christian traditions, existential questions of suffering and violence, the encounter with modern science, the roles of women, liturgical time and pilgrimage.
Christianity is a global religion. From modest beginnings 2,000 years ago, it has grown to encompass nearly a third of the human population. Diverse in languages, cultures, histories and creeds, Christians nonetheless share a common collection of sacred scripture called the Bible.
This religion course introduces you to the Bible and its scripture and asks the questions:
- What are the contents, languages, and forms of Bibles in various times and places?
- How have Christians lived out their stories and teachings?
- How does Christian history reflect the contested and varied uses of scripture—in the ancient Roman world where Christianity began, in its spread through European and American colonialism, in the diverse forms it takes in varied locations around the globe?
You will begin to explore these questions and others while learning about the content and interpretations of these sacred texts.
No previous knowledge of Christianity or the Bible required. This course is part of the World Religions Through Their Scriptures series.
Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences