Jonah & Its Afterlives

En ego tempestas, ego tota insania mundi,
In me, inquit, vobis aether ruit et mare surgit
In me terra procul, mors proxima, nulla dei spes
Behold I am the tempest, I am all the madness of the world
In me, he says, upper air rushes down and sea rises up
In me earth is far, death is near, hope of God is none
- Pseudo-Tertullian, Carmen de Iona Propheta
The Christian Catacombs

Instructor : Amy Erickson, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible /

Meeting Location : Bacon 218, Thursdays 1-4:30 through April 21.

Draft of syllabu s. I aim to keep the reading to 75-100 pages per week (for four weeks). In some cases, readings listed will be prioritized or split up and shared.

Course Description: This two-credit course invites students to place the biblical book of Jonah in conversation with works of literature, art, and theology that interpret Jonah or explore themes in the book, including the nature of God, prophecy, election, death, and transformation. The course will introduce students to the history of interpretation (or reception history) by considering Jonah’s afterlives in a variety of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts, artistic programs, and manuscript illuminations.


Course Overview


Course Objectives


***Readings: everything will be available in PDF or electronic form; you are not required to purchase any books for this course . That said, we will be reading a good chunk of Gregg's book, so I encourage you to get a physical copy of it.

Gregg, R. C. Shared Stories, Rival Tellings: Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims . New York: Oxford, 2015.

For reference and for presentation ideas, you might take a look at: Erickson, Amy. Jonah: Introduction and Commentary. Illuminations Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2021.

Also suggested is: Sherwood, Yvonne. A Biblical Text and its Afterlives: The Survival of Jonah in Western Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000 (I won't be assigning reading from Sherwood's book, but it's a great read).

Mar 31, 2022ThuJonah 1 and Early Jewish Interpretationdue by 07:59PM
Apr 07, 2022ThuJonah 2 in Early Christian Writings and Artdue by 07:59PM
Apr 14, 2022ThuJonah in Jewish Liturgy and Midrashimdue by 07:00PM
Apr 21, 2022ThuJonah 4 and Islam’s Yunusdue by 07:00PM
May 05, 2022ThuLast Classdue by 07:00PM