Women and Gender in the Bible and Contemporary Society (Summer School) TRS1035

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course aims to explore, interrogate and reflect on the ways in which biblical women are understood, contextualised and represented in the text of the Bible that has developed, in various ways, a foundational significance for Western culture. We will study in depth some of the scriptural narratives of female characters of the Bible, and biblical texts concerning gender and ethics from a variety of perspectives including feminist hermeneutics, intersectional theories and queer exegesis. We will visit cultural sites to explore the ways in which biblical women are celebrated or lamented, and we will study contemporary retellings of biblical women in film, literature and TV to reconstruct their stories and reflect on their place in our world. The course provides the opportunity to understand the ways in which readings of biblical women establish creative transactions between ancient patriarchal cultures and modern post-industrial cultures via counter-readings, misreadings and outraged readings, and more broadly, how this relates to our understanding of the place of the Bible in western society.


18 sessions of 2.5 hours taught over three weeks, of which 12 will comprise of lecture and discussion, 8 will have seminar format or involve relevant cultural visits or other events (e.g. watching films).

Requirements of Entry

This course is only available to students taking part in the International Summer School.

Excluded Courses





Essay Outline (500 words): 25%

Essay (3,000): 75%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below.


Reassessments for essay and essay outline not available, due to time bound nature of international summer school.

Course Aims

The course aims to:

■ Engage in close reading of selected texts from different divisions of the Bible;

■ Discuss feminism and gender theory and their applications in biblical scholarship and contemporary society;

■ Familiarise students with a range of theoretical interpretative approaches to texts.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ Provide an analysis of the historical, cultural and literary character of specific biblical texts about women;

■ Offer an analysis of a variety of interpretive approaches to the representation of women in biblical texts;

■ Reflect comparatively about ideologies in biblical texts and in their afterlives.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.