Classical and Biblical Backgrounds to Modern Literature

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
ENGL 2107
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course explores selected classical and biblical literary texts and examines them in their own right and as sources for subsequent works of literature. This course does not view or critique religious texts from a theological perspective.
Course Content

All second-year English literature courses share the following features:

  1. Students are presumed to be proficient in the writing of critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor or discussed in class.
  3. Students are required to incorporate into their oral and written coursework secondary source materials. These may include autobiographical or biographical material; literary criticism or theory; unassigned texts by the author under study; relevant cultural or intellectual history; or other arts, such as music, film, or fine arts.
  4. Readings and topics will vary with each instructor’s presentation of a course; however, all course materials are consistent with the objectives/outcomes for this course.

In English 2107, students will examine

  1. the development of early story-telling culture, from an oral to a literary one;
  2. the evolution of over-arching ideas and themes (such as the nature of the hero, the roles and depcitions of women, the ideals of leadership, and the development of cultures) in the literature of the times;
  3. selected classical and biblical literary texts in their own right, as sources for subsequent works of literature, and in relation to modern texts; and
  4. historical, cultural, and cultural/theoretical contexts relating to the study of classical and biblical texts.   
Learning Activities

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. Lecture/discussion
  2. Group work
  3. Peer editing
  4. Presentation (individual or group)
  5. Independent research
  6. Instructor feedback on students’ work
  7. Individual consultation
Means of Assessment
  1. A minimum of two formal academic essays, with a combined value of at least 40% of the course grade, and a minimum of two other evaluations.
  2. A minimum of 80% of the course grade will be based on writing assignments (essays, essay-based exams, journals, paragraphs); a maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.
  3. A minimum of 15% of the course grade will be based on in-class writing (essay or exam).

According to the College Evaluation Policy, the final grade awarded to each student shall consist of at least three separate assignments. No single assessment will be weighted at more than 40% of the final course grade.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any second-year English literature course, the student should be able to

  1. use with increased proficiency the skills of literary analysis taught in first-year English courses;
  2. recognize the significance of the literary and other contexts (such as biographical, historical, mythological or philosophical) of a work being studied;
  3. read critically and use in essays secondary sources (such as criticism or other texts by the same author) as an aid to comprehending the primary text(s) being studied;
  4. read critically and independently texts not discussed in class; and
  5. formulate a thesis on a given subject in one or more specific works, and to develop this thesis using suitable textual evidence.

Upon complete of English 2107, the successful student should also have a deeper understanding of

  1. traditional literary forms, such as epic, psalm, and parable;  
  2. how traditional stories, themes, and motifs inform subsequent literature;
  3. relationships between literature and the religious, political, and social developments of the times.
Textbook Materials

Texts will vary depending on the instructor, and may include shorter readings compiled in custom course packs.

Sample Reading List:

  • Coursepack, containing selections from writers such as Dante, Homer, Virgil, Milton; various mdern poems inspired by classical and biblical texts; and related historical/critical texts
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Fitzgerald (trans.), The Odyssey
  • Frazier, Cold Mountain
  • Holy Bible, Oxford King James Authorized Version (Old and New Testament selections)





Any two university-transfer first-year English literature courses, or one university-transfer first-year English literature course and one university-transfer first-year Creative Writing or English writing course.                                                                


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for ENGL 2107
Acsenda School of Management (ASM) ASM SOCI 2XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ENGL 2XX (3)
Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN ENGL 206 (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR ENGL 2XX (3)
Columbia College (COLU) COLU ENGL 1st (3)
Emily Carr University of Art & Design (EC) EC ENGL 200 lev (3)
Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) FDU ENWR 1102 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ENGL 2XXX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG ENGL 1XXX (3)
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) NVIT ENGL 221 (3)
North Island College (NIC) NIC ENG 2XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 2XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 2140 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU ENGL 1XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ENGL 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ENGL_O 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ENGL_V 1st (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 1XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENSH 233 (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU ENGL 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2024