Skip to main content

Unit information: Rewriting the Bible in 2021/22

Unit name Rewriting the Bible
Unit code ENGLM0069
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Cathy Hume
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will introduce students to a range of biblical literature, mainly written in English. No previous expertise in the Bible will be assumed. The aim of the unit will be to consider the limitations and possibilities of literature that rewrites a fixed text, and consider how and why writers created these adaptations. Students will explore a range of literary genres, such as drama, lyric and narrative poetry, and consider how and to what end biblical literature creates comedy, mystery and pathos. The treatment of gender, social class, racial and religious difference will be explored, as will questions of literary status and authority and audience. Wider cultural contexts including the agenda of the Church, lay religious practices, and the visual arts will also be explored. In any given teaching year, the unit may be focussed on a particular historical period (e.g. the Middle Ages). Students will compile a portfolio including close readings of some pieces of literature, reflections on secondary materials, and an abstract of their final essay, to promote engagement across the course and give some formative feedback, before exploring a question in depth in their final essay.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. compare the Bible with literary adaptations of biblical material;

2. analyse biblical literature, paying attention to its literary qualities, political and didactic aims, and intended audience;

3. apply an understanding of social, historical and cultural contexts to their analysis;

4. identify and present pertinent evidence to develop a cogent argument appropriate to level M.

5. demonstrate skills in textual analysis, argumentation, and critical interpretation, using evidence from primary texts and secondary sources.

Teaching Information

1 x 2-hour seminar per week.

Assessment Information

One portfolio of 1500 words (20%) [ILOs 1-2]

One 4000 word summative essay (80%) [ILOs 2-5]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ENGLM0069).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.