skyline of ancient city

In the Face of Adversity: Homer’s Odyssey and the Bible’s Job


This course was available in the past and may be presented again as part of the Open Enrollment curriculum.

The twin foundations of “Western” civilization are often thought to be the Classical tradition of ancient Greece and Rome on the one hand, and the Biblical tradition of ancient Israel on the other. In this course, we’ll explore how “Athens” and “Jerusalem” addressed the common human predicament of adversity through the close reading of a key text from each: Homer’s Odyssey and the Bible’s Book of Job. Along the way, we’ll consider the literary, philosophical, and religious aspects in an attempt to understand each work in its own right as well the similarities and differences between them. Students may wish to review Adler and Van Doren’s How to Read a Book prior to, or concurrent with, this course. Please complete the assigned reading for Week 1 before the first class.

Course Outline

Course Syllabus


Online registration deadline: Dec. 22, 5 PM CT

Remote courses require you to login to Canvas to access the Zoom Classroom. You will receive an invitation to join Canvas about a week before your course begins. Please visit the Liberal Arts Student Resources page to find step by step instructions for Canvas and Zoom: Online Learning Resources