There are two separate components to this paper and an excellent
paper (grade of “B” or above) will show a clear understanding of both components.
First, read The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter and apply the techniques that he
illustrates to Ruth chapter 1. While you may use outside sources if you
feel that it will add to your literary understanding of these passages, you should
demonstrate a clear and thorough understanding of Alter’s interpretive methods
through your application of his approach.
Second, after you have fully applied Alter’s techniques, use your reading of King and
Stager’s “Life in Biblical Israel,” to demonstrate how the historical and cultural background of your
passage helped you to understand what the author was trying to communicate. (You
should go beyond the Scripture index of Life in Biblical Israel for this portion of the
Finally, evaluate the theological meaning of the text, showing how an understanding of
the author’s literary method and historical context contribute to a better understanding
of this religious text.
Please write a paper of 10‐12 pages.
Make sure to properly cite every source that you
use (even Alter and King/Stager). You may use any citation method that you choose
(MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, Turabian, APA, etc.), but let me know your method in a
footnote at the bottom of the first page.