Jewish Literature in the Graeco-Roman World TRS4109

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course offers the opportunity to study selected Jewish authors and texts in depth (e.g., Philo, Josephus, Dead Sea Scrolls), reading closely and considering a variety of perspectives. It also enables students to come to a deeper understanding of a wide range of issues in reading and interpreting Jewish texts within a wider Graeco-Roman context.


1 x 2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology & Religious Studies and Classics, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation. 

Excluded Courses



Essay (2,500 words): 45%

Book review (1,000 words): 10%


Examination (90 minutes duration): 45%

OR: in place of the exam an additional 2500 word essay on a topic to be agreed with the convener, by an agreed date: 45%.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which 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. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ engage in close reading of specific Jewish texts written in the Graeco-Roman period

■ engage in scholarship in an understudied area in biblical studies, but one that is important for understanding the New Testament

■ relate the Jewish texts to a variety of religious and historical contexts, especially interaction between Jewish and Greek/Roman cultures

■ apply a range of theoretical interpretative approaches to texts with a specific focus on historical and literary issues.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ discuss analytically the historical, cultural, and literary character of specific Jewish texts from the Graeco-Roman period

■ relate themes and motifs from the prescribed texts to ancient contexts

■ apply theoretical approaches to specific texts

■ present well-honed arguments in written and oral form.

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.