HIST 102 The Bible and War


An oft-quoted verse from the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:8 “a time for war, a time for peace,” speaks to one of the fundamental tensions in the Bible: war or peace. This course will explore the various ideas of war espoused in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament and how these ideas have let themselves to human violence throughout history. We will use the theme of war to investigate how people across time and within a wide range of diverse cultural contexts have engaged with Jewish and Christian sacred texts to make meaning and value in their world. Students will examine the Bible but also a variety of other texts whose authors have drawn inspiration from it. Topics for our discussion will include: ideals of masculinity and femininity; debates about just wars; conscientious objectors; the Crusades; religious civil wars in France; conquest of the Americas; Christian imperialism; the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; and current conflicts, among others. This course will count towards a History Major or Minor.

Degree Requirements