Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitAustralian Centre for Jewish Civilisation
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Michael Fagenblat


Previously coded HSY4175


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.
  2. knowledge of the historical, theoretical and cultural issues involved in claiming authority for any sacred text.
  3. Understanding of the basic interpretive practices that have been applied by Jewish and Christian communities to the Bible.
  4. skills in evaluating and applying different kinds of exegesis and hermeneutic theory.


Written work: 90%
Participation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2.5 Hours


JWC4010, JWM4010, JWM5010, APG4302, APG5302, RLT4090, RLM4090, RLM5090