Courses

Anthropology and Sociology of Religion

AASR 32900 Classical Theories of Religion
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S106

This course will survey the development of theoretical perspectives on religion and religions in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Thinkers to be studied include: Kant, Hume, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Marx, Müller, Tiele, Tylor, Robertson Smith, Frazer, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, James, Otto, van der Leeuw, Wach, and Eliade.

Ident. HREL 32900/ANTH 35005

 
AASR 33900 Islam and Biomedicine
M/W 11-12:20 S201

Instructor: Elham Mireshghi

 

While modern medicine is typically imagined as a solution to public health problems, it also transforms people’s experiences of their bodies, rearranges social relationships, and raises a range of moral questions and controversies. This course deals with the transformations and conundrums that biomedical practice has brought about in Muslim-majority societies, with particular attention to Islamic law, policy, and everyday life. We will read texts from anthropology and Islamic bioethics on a variety of topics, including but not limited to mental health, reproductive technologies, organ transplantation, and cloning. 

Ident. ISLM xxxx / RETH xxxxx / ANTH xxxxx / RLST 26310

Bible

BIBL 31000 Jewish Thought and Literature: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
T/TH 1:30-2:50 S106

he Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is a complex anthology of disparate texts and reflects a diversity of religious, political, and historical perspectives from ancient Israel, Judah, and Yehud. Because this collection of texts continues to play an important role in modern religions, new meanings are often imposed upon it. In this course, we will attempt to read biblical texts apart from modern preconceptions about them. We will also contextualize their ideas and goals through comparison with texts from ancient Mesopotamia, Syro-Palestine, and Egypt. Such comparisons will demonstrate that the Hebrew Bible is fully part of the cultural milieu of the Ancient Near East. To accomplish these goals, we will read a significant portion of the Hebrew Bible in English, along with representative selections from secondary literature. We will also spend some time thinking about the nature of biblical interpretation.

Ident. RLST 11004/JWSC 20120/NEHC 20504/30504

BIBL 31200 Greek Philosophy
ARR ARR

Instructor: Elizabeth Asmis

The Phaedrus is one of the most fascinating and compelling of Plato’s Dialogues. Beginning with a playful treatment of the theme of erotic passion, it continues with a consideration of the nature of inspiration, love, and knowledge. The centerpiece is one the most famous of the Platonic myths, the moving description of the charioteer and its allegory of the vision, fall, and incarnation of the soul. We will read the entire dialogue, with special attention the language and style and with a particular focus on religious and theological ideas.

Ident. GREK 21200/31200w / CLAS 21200/31200

 
BIBL 33900 Introductory Biblical Hebrew I
M/W/F 8:00-8:50 S201

Instructor: Staff

BIBL 35100 Introductory Koine Greek I
M/W/F 8:00-8:50 S208

Instructor: Staff

BIBL 36916 Reading Greek Literature in the Papyri
ARR ARR

Instructor: Sofia Torallas-Tovar

The earliest—and often the only—witnesses for Greek literary works are the papyri. This makes their testimony of great importance for literary history and interpretation, but that testimony does not come without problems. In this course we will cover some of the concepts and techniques needed to recover the literary treasure contained in this highly complex material: from the history of book forms, the textual tradition of literary works, and the creation of the canons to more philological aspects such as editorial practice, Textkritik and paleography. Our literary corpus will include biblical texts, paraliterary (school and magical) texts, and translations of Egyptian texts into Greek.  We will work with photographs of the papyri, and every part of the course will be based on practice. As appropriate we will also work with the University of Chicago’s collections of papyri. Requirements: at least two years of Greek.

PQ:  Undergraduates accepted, but with Greek.

Ident. HCHR 36916/GREK 25116/35116

BIBL 41000 Amos
T 3:00-5:50 S400

This course is an exegetical study of the biblical book of Amos (in Hebrew)

PQ:  Biblical Hebrew

BIBL 42010 Ancient Sexualities and Early Christianity
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S200

We will study ancient Greek and Roman and early Jewish and Christian attitudes toward sex and constructions of sexuality, including homosexuality and lesbianism, as well as virginity, prostitution, and sexuality as it relates to gender.  We will read both non-Christian and Christian primary sources in light of which we will critically assess the scholarship of classicists (e.g., David Halperin; James Davidson), exegetes and historians of early Christianity (e.g., Francis Watson; Dale Martin), and the philosopher Michel Foucault (The History of Sexuality). 

BIBL 43200 Colloquium: Ancient Christianity
T 6:00-8:50 S403

A critical reading of influential narratives--both ancient and modern--of “the rise of Christianity” in the first four centuries, and the sources from which they are composed, asking the question: can such a narrative be told (if it can be told) in a way other than as a romance or a tragedy?  Each week we shall analyze select primary sources (textual, artistic, architectural, on which students will give presentations) that illuminate crucial issues (e.g. demographics, conversion, persecution, martyrdom, asceticism, gender, ecclesiological and ritual structures, intellectual lineages, orthodoxy and heresy), personalities (e.g., Ignatius, Perpetua and Felicitas, Irenaeus, Antony, Eusebius, Constantine, Augustine) and events.  On-going reflection on the nature of historiography as a science and an art, involving both discovery and invention.

PQ: Greek and Latin are not required for this course, but ample opportunity will be provided for those who have these skills to exercise them in their work.

Ident. HCHR 43200

BIBL 48116 Seminar: Cicero Orator
ARR ARR

Instructor: Peter White

Cicero’s culminating essay on oratory is compared with Aristotle’s Rhetoric, other rhetorical writings by Cicero, and some of the speeches with the aim of identifying distinctive preoccupations of Latin oratory at the end of the Republic.  Topics considered include the influence of philosophy on rhetoric, practice versus theory, teleology in the history of Roman oratory, the construction of Roman auctoritas, and the relation of live performance to publication

Ident. CLAS 48116

BIBL 50805 Textual Knowledge and Authority: Biblical and Chinese Literature
F 10:00-12:50 MMC Library

Team-taught by Simeon Chavel and Haun Saussy.

Ancient writers and their patrons exploited the textual medium, the virtual reality it can evoke and the prestige it can command to promote certain categories of knowledge and types of knowers. This course will survey two ancient bodies of literature, Hebrew and Chinese, for the figures they advance, the perspectives they configure, the genres they present, and the practices that developed around them, all in a dynamic interplay of text and counter-text. Excerpts from Hebrew literature include (a) royal wisdom in Proverbs & Ecclesiastes; (b) divine law in Exodus 19–24, Deuteronomy, and the Temple Scroll; and (c) other works found among the Dead Sea scrolls. Readings from Chinese literature include (d) speeches from the Shang shu (Book of Documents), (e) odes from the Shi jing (Book of Songs), and (f) commentaries from Han to Qing periods that elucidate, often in contradictory terms, the law-giving properties of these texts.

Ident. KNOW 40101/COML

BIBL 51800 Exegesis Seminar: 2 Corinthians
M/W 1:30-2:50 S403

An exegesis course on the Greek text of 2 Corinthians, in which we shall critically test one theory of literary partition through a close reading in succession of each of the five letter fragments now contained in the redacted canonical epistle.  This allows for a fresh historical reconstruction of an unfolding conflict, and for due attention to how Paul’s letters and their multiple meanings contributed to it, as he and his earliest readers struggle to control meaning in the context of suspicion, misunderstanding and dissent.  Focal themes: epistolary theory and practice; the nature, logic and limitations of Pauline rhetoric; the cultural and religious repertoire upon which Paul draws in these letters (e.g., on boasting, reconciliation, military imagery, anthropology, consolation, heavenly journeys, fund-raising and gift-giving); the purpose and art of interpretation and its audiences.

PQ:  intermediate Greek skills (Koine)

Divinity School

DVSC 30400 Introduction to the Study of Religion
T/TH 4:30-5:50 S106

This course will examine a seminal moment in the formation of the category “religion,” by focusing on Moses Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem (1783).  Often considered the foundational text for modern Jewish thought, we will treat it here as a foundational text for the study of religion.  We will consider the use that Mendelssohn makes of the category of religion as a means for comparing Judaism and Christianity, the model he proposes for the relationship between church and state, the function of the biblical canon in his claims, and the legacy of the Jewish exemplar for considering other processes of identity negotiation, not only in the West but in other colonial and postcolonial contexts.    In order to flesh out these issues, we will read a few of Mendelssohn’s predecessors and his contemporary interlocutors, including Spinoza, Kant and Lessing, and recent attempts to rethink the legacy of Jerusalem, such as selections from Amir Mufti’s Enlightenment in the Colony and Leora Batnizky’s How Judaism became a Religion.   The course will include a series of class lectures by Divinity School faculty members across the areas of study who will treat the text’s legacy by considering the persistence of its questions across multiple subfields and the differences in its refractions when engaged by various methods.

PQ:  This is the supporting course required of all AMRS/MA/MDIV students.  Discussion groups will be held (TBA).

DVSC 45100 Reading Course: Special Topic
ARR ARR

PQ: Petition with bibliography signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

DVSC 49900 Exam Preparation
ARR ARR

PQ: Open only to Ph.D. students in quarter of qualifying exams.  Department consent.  Petition signed by Advisor.

DVSC 50100 Research: Divinity
ARR ARR

PQ: Petition signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

DVSC 59900 Thesis Work: Divinity
ARR ARR

PQ: Petition signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

History of Christianity

HCHR 30900 History of Christian Thought V: Modern Religious Thought

This course traces the history of Modern Christian thought from Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel through Troeltsch and Barth.

Ident. THEO 30700

HCHR 32900 The Italian Renaissance
ARR ARR

Instructor: Ada Palmer

Florence, Rome, and the Italian city-states in the age of plagues and cathedrals, Dante and Machiavelli, Medici and Borgia (1250–1600), with a focus on literature and primary sources, the recovery of lost texts and technologies of the ancient world, and the role of the Church in Renaissance culture and politics. Humanism, patronage, translation, cultural immersion, dynastic and papal politics, corruption, assassination, art, music, magic, censorship, religion, education, science, heresy, and the roots of the Reformation. Assignments include creative writing, reproducing historical artifacts, and a live reenactment of a papal election.

First-year students and non-history majors welcome.

 

Ident. HIST 22900/32900/CLAS 32914/ITAL 22914/32914/RLST

HCHR 34900 The Age of Walter Rauschenbusch: History and Historiography of the Social Gospel
W 9:00-11:50 S403

This course is an intensive analysis of the origins, development, and historical significance of the Social Gospel as a religious and social reform movement in America. Particular emphasis is devoted to the theological works of Walter Rauschenbusch and broader intellectual and cultural developments in the US from the 1880s to the 1920s. Some basic knowledge of the history of biblical interpretation is helpful to make sense of the theological and biblical controversies of the time period. Some attention in class and in the readings will be devoted to the origin of these developments as a factor in the emergence of the Social Gospel.

Ident. RAME 34900

HCHR 36916 Reading Greek Literature in the Papyri
ARR ARR

Instructor: Sofia Torallas-Tovar

The earliest—and often the only—witnesses for Greek literary works are the papyri. This makes their testimony of great importance for literary history and interpretation, but that testimony does not come without problems. In this course we will cover some of the concepts and techniques needed to recover the literary treasure contained in this highly complex material: from the history of book forms, the textual tradition of literary works, and the creation of the canons to more philological aspects such as editorial practice, Textkritik and paleography. Our literary corpus will include biblical texts, paraliterary (school and magical) texts, and translations of Egyptian texts into Greek.  We will work with photographs of the papyri, and every part of the course will be based on practice. As appropriate we will also work with the University of Chicago’s collections of papyri. Requirements: at least two years of Greek.

PQ:  Undergraduates accepted, but with Greek.

Ident. BIBL 36916/GREK 25116/35116

HCHR 40608 Becoming Modern: Religion in America in the 1920s
M 9:00-11:50 S200

Terms such as “acids of modernity” and the “modern temper” were commonly used in the 1920s to describe a new phenomenon in American history. Historians still regard the 1920s as a significant moment in US History, even while revising older narratives that viewed such changes as leading to a decline in church attendance and religious practice. In the 1920s, the nation struggled with the effects of massive immigration, decades of urbanization, and significant cultural and social changes that had profound implications for religious practice and belief. This course takes an extended look at the 1925 Scopes Trial, the fundamentalist modernist controversy, and the intellectual and cultural challenges to traditional religious beliefs and practices.

Ident. RAME 40608

HCHR 43200 Colloquium: Ancient Christianity
T 6:00-8:50 S403

A critical reading of influential narratives--both ancient and modern--of “the rise of Christianity” in the first four centuries, and the sources from which they are composed, asking the question: can such a narrative be told (if it can be told) in a way other than as a romance or a tragedy?  Each week we shall analyze select primary sources (textual, artistic, architectural, on which students will give presentations) that illuminate crucial issues (e.g. demographics, conversion, persecution, martyrdom, asceticism, gender, ecclesiological and ritual structures, intellectual lineages, orthodoxy and heresy), personalities (e.g., Ignatius, Perpetua and Felicitas, Irenaeus, Antony, Eusebius, Constantine, Augustine) and events.  On-going reflection on the nature of historiography as a science and an art, involving both discovery and invention.

PQ: Greek and Latin are not required for this course, but ample opportunity will be provided for those who have these skills to exercise them in their work.

Ident. BIBL 43200

History of Judaism

HIJD 30150 “Mediterranean Thinkers”: Jewish Thought in the Medieval Islamic World
M/W 10:30 – 11:50 ARR

 Instructor: Sarah Stroumsa

Jewish thinkers participated actively in the multicultural Islamic world of the ninth to thirteenth centuries.   This course explores the impact of diverse cultural currents on the development of medieval Jewish thought.  Specifically, the course will focus on such aspects of Jewish thought as philosophy, theology, and pietism, through the examination of individual thinkers in their cultural contexts.

PQ: Knowledge of foreign languages is not required (but readings can be adapted to students’ individual skills).    The course will be geared toward advanced undergraduates and beginning level graduate students.

Ident. RLST 20150/JWSC 20150/ ISLM 30150

HIJD 30589 Sefarad and Andalus: Jewish Thinkers in Islamic Spain
W 12:30-3:30pm ARR

Instructor: Sarah Stroumsa

The period known as “the Golden Age” in Islamic Spain is associated with some of the most famous names in Jewish thought, such as Maimonides or Judah Halevi. Through readings of individual thinkers in their cultural context, this course will study the emergence of Jewish thought in Islamic Spain (al-Andalus), and its development within and beyond its borders.

PQ: Knowledge of foreign languages is not required (but readings can be adapted to students' individual skills).

Ident. NEHC 30589 / ISLM 30589

HIJD 35503 Midrash and Revelation
TH 9:00-11:50 S403

 

This course will focus on the presentation of the event of revelation at Sinai in midrashic sources from several periods (especially, Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael; Pesikta de-Rav Kahana; Exodus Rabba; Song of Songs Rabba; and Tanhuma), as well as pertinent cases in the contemporary liturgical poetry.  Particular attention will be given to the types, forms and content of exegetical theology involved.

Knowledge of Hebrew desired, but English translations will be provided.

Ident. RLIT 35503

HIJD 38607 Lament and Lamentation in Jewish Literature I
W 3:00-5:50 S403

This course will focus on the theme of lament and lamentation in ancient Jewish literature.  It will begin with theories of lament and comparative sources from antiquity.  It will then take up some representative Psalms from Scripture; portions of the book of Lamentation; selections from the Midrash on Lamentation (both from the proem and the commentary); and related material from contemporary liturgical poetry (Piyyut).

Knowledge of Hebrew required (or consent of instructor)

Ident. RLIT 35503

HIJD 43108 Judaism, Islam and the study of Religion
W 9:00-11:50 S200

 

Instructor: Guy Stroumsa

 

The Seminar will deal with the religious and intellectual contexts of the study of Judaism and Islam in modern Europe. It will focus upon the difficult birth, in the nineteenth century, of a comparative approach to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and will analyze the complex interface between theology, orientalism, secularization, colonialism, and the rise of racist anti-Semitism.

28 September: The scholarly discovery of religion in modern times

5 October: The comparative study of religion and its history

12 October: Yom Kippur, No class

19 October: Three rings and three impostors

26 October: Ex oriente numen: the other oriental Renaissance

2 November: Renan on Judaism and Islam

9 November: Wellhausen and Robertson Smith on Judaism and Islam

16 November: Islam in the mind of Europe: Geiger, Goldziher, Massignon

23 November: Jewish students of Jesus

30 November: Bergson’s Two Sources and its sources

Ident. ISLM 43108

HIJD 45400 Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
Th 4:00-6:50 S403

A careful study of select passages in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed focusing on the method of the work, its exegetical framework, and its major philosophical-theological themes, including divine attributes, creation vs. eternity, prophecy, the problem of evil and providence, law and ethics, and the final aim of human existence. There is no language requirement; all readings will be in English. There will be an extra optional session for students who want to read the text in the original.

Ident. ISLM 45400/NEHC 40470/RLIT 45402/RLST 21107/FNDL 24106

HIJD 45612 Religion in the European Enlightenment: Spinoza to Kant
T 6:00-8:50 S400

Readings in primary texts that are understood to constitute the historical phenomenon denominated “the Enlightenment,” with particular attention to major themes and the variations played upon them by thinkers at this time: the status of the Bible as sacred and/or historical text; conceptions of truth as revealed, as natural, and/or as revealed by nature; the emergence of the idea of “religious experience”; the category of the miraculous, and its relation to conceptions of providence and natural orders; and the place of religion in emerging political structures that have their basis in conceptions of citizenship and rights.

Ident. RLIT 45612

HIJD 46100 Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption
W 5:00-7:50 S200

 

A close exegetical reading of Rosenzweig’s magnum opus, focusing on his deconstruction of German Idealism; the realignment of philosophy and theology; the revalorization of cardinal theistic concepts (Creation, Revelation, and Redemption); the religious phenomenology of the Jewish and Christian liturgical calendar; and “Messianic politics.“

History of Religions

HREL 25306 Sex and Censorship in South Asia
T/TH 3:00-4:20 Foster 209

Instructor: Ahona Panda

 

There have been many exceptional moments of political intolerance and censorship in South Asia in the last two decades. Bloggers have been murdered in Bangladesh, student activists have been arrested on university campuses across India, books have been banned, theaters and galleries have been vandalized, couples have been attacked across the country on Valentine’s Day as sexuality is supposedly foreign to “Indian Culture”, the Indian judiciary has refused to strike down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which leaves homosexuality as a criminal activity that is constantly censored in film and literature. Restrictions on speech are a feature of democracies everywhere, from persecuting whistle-blowers in the US, to ban on religious symbols in France, to restrictions on Twitter in Turkey. What sets the South Asian experience apart? This introductory course will interrogate how a nexus of concerns about power, religion and sex, originating in the colonial experience, has shaped the particular dynamics of censorship in South Asia. By looking at a long history of banning and prohibition, we will also examine how censorship has molded South Asian cultural and political lives.

This course should be of interest to students of gender and sexuality studies, cinema and media studies, literature, history, politics, human rights, anthropology and modern South Asian history and culture. It should also appeal to those interested in the past and present of law, censorship and democracy in the Non-West. Students at all stages of undergraduate study are encouraged to take this introductory course.

Ident. SALC 25306 / HIST 26710 / GNSE 25306-01

HREL 32900 Classical Theories of Religion
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S106

This course will survey the development of theoretical perspectives on religion and religions in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Thinkers to be studied include: Kant, Hume, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Marx, Müller, Tiele, Tylor, Robertson Smith, Frazer, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, James, Otto, van der Leeuw, Wach, and Eliade.

Ident. AASR 32900/ANTH 35005

 
HREL 50104 Chinese Religious Manuscripts and Epigraphy
ARR W 1:30-4:20

An introduction to reading and working with Chinese religious manuscripts and stone inscriptions.  Though we will read and discuss basic secondary works in paleography, codicology, and epigraphy, most of our time will be spent developing our own skills in these disciplines, including in trips to the Field Museum to examine their extensive collection of rubbings and inscribed Buddhist and Daoist statuary.

Ident. EALC 50100

HREL 52201 Discourse and Practice: Classic Researches in the History of Religions
M 1:30-4:20 S400
HREL 56000 Dissertation Seminar
ARR ARR

Islamic Studies

ISLM 30030 Introduction to the Qur'an
ARR ARR

This course introduces the historical context, thematic and literary features, major biblical figures, and exegetical literature on the Qur'an, with a focus on the early (8th-10th century CE) and medieval periods (11th - 15th century CE). We will read select English translations from the Qur'an and its commentators, accompanied by academic secondary literature that emphasize the Qur'an’s literary structure, theological underpinnings, historical, geographical, social, political and cultural contexts in early and medieval Islamic civilization, and the role of the Qur'an as both a fixed and a living and dynamic text in Muslim devotional life.

PQ: Knowledge of Arabic is not a prerequisite, but general knowledge about Islam or an “Introduction to Islam” course is highly recommended. 
 

Ident. NEHC 30030

ISLM 30150 “Mediterranean Thinkers”: Jewish Thought in the Medieval Islamic World
M/W 10:30 – 11:50 ARR

 Instructor: Sarah Stroumsa

Jewish thinkers participated actively in the multicultural Islamic world of the ninth to thirteenth centuries.   This course explores the impact of diverse cultural currents on the development of medieval Jewish thought.  Specifically, the course will focus on such aspects of Jewish thought as philosophy, theology, and pietism, through the examination of individual thinkers in their cultural contexts.

PQ: Knowledge of foreign languages is not required (but readings can be adapted to students’ individual skills).    The course will be geared toward advanced undergraduates and beginning level graduate students.

Ident. RLST 20150/JWSC 20150/ HIJD 30150

ISLM 30337 Persian Lyric Poetry 1
M 3:00-5:50 ARR

The ghazal developed from a lyrical poem in Arabic on the topic of heterosexual love, to a fixed form in Persian on love (often homoerotic) and loss, wine, praise of the patron/ruler, or meditation on the divine Beloved, to a melancholy meditation on the human condition and personal defeat.  It took European romanticism by storm and has recently become a canonical form in English poetry.  This class traces the development of the Persian ghazal from Rudaki (d. 941) up through Jami (d. 1492), with emphasis on some major pracitioners of the form (Sana'i, Attar, Sa`di, Rumi, Hafez, Jahan Malek Khatun, etc.). 

PQ: Topic: Ghazal Poetry 1: Rudaki to Jami. 2 years of Persian or the equivalent

Ident. PERS 30337

ISLM 30589 Sefarad and Andalus: Jewish Thinkers in Islamic Spain
W 12:30-3:30pm ARR

Instructor: Sarah Stroumsa

The period known as “the Golden Age” in Islamic Spain is associated with some of the most famous names in Jewish thought, such as Maimonides or Judah Halevi. Through readings of individual thinkers in their cultural context, this course will study the emergence of Jewish thought in Islamic Spain (al-Andalus), and its development within and beyond its borders.

PQ: Knowledge of foreign languages is not required (but readings can be adapted to students' individual skills).

Ident. NEHC 30589 / HIJD 30589

ISLM 40680 Readings in Islamic Thought I: 800-1200
TH 3:00-6:00 ARR

This course focuses on close reading of selected primary texts in Arabic from a wide variety of fields, including history, theology, language, philosophy, and law. The aim of the course is both to familiarize students with the content and style of these works and to provide tools for and practice in analyzing the works within their particular intellectual contexts. (Readings in Islamic Thought I and II can be taken separately.) 

PQ: 3 years of Arabic

Ident. NEHC 40680

ISLM 43108 Judaism, Islam and the study of Religion
W 9:00-11:50 S200

 

Instructor: Guy Stroumsa

 

The Seminar will deal with the religious and intellectual contexts of the study of Judaism and Islam in modern Europe. It will focus upon the difficult birth, in the nineteenth century, of a comparative approach to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and will analyze the complex interface between theology, orientalism, secularization, colonialism, and the rise of racist anti-Semitism.

28 September: The scholarly discovery of religion in modern times

5 October: The comparative study of religion and its history

12 October: Yom Kippur, No class

19 October: Three rings and three impostors

26 October: Ex oriente numen: the other oriental Renaissance

2 November: Renan on Judaism and Islam

9 November: Wellhausen and Robertson Smith on Judaism and Islam

16 November: Islam in the mind of Europe: Geiger, Goldziher, Massignon

23 November: Jewish students of Jesus

30 November: Bergson’s Two Sources and its sources

Ident. HIJD 43108

ISLM 45400 Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
Th 4:00-6:50 S403

A careful study of select passages in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed focusing on the method of the work, its exegetical framework, and its major philosophical-theological themes, including divine attributes, creation vs. eternity, prophecy, the problem of evil and providence, law and ethics, and the final aim of human existence. There is no language requirement; all readings will be in English. There will be an extra optional session for students who want to read the text in the original.

Ident. HIJD 45400/NEHC 40470/RLIT 45402/RLST 21107/FNDL 24106

Ministry and Religious Leadership

CHRM 30500 Introduction to the Study of Ministry
W 1:30-2:50 S400

PQ: 1st year MDiv students only

CHRM 35102 Arts of Ministry: Ritual, Worship, Preaching and Teaching
F 9:00-11:50 S400

PQ: 2nd year MDiv students or by permission of the instructor

CHRM 40600 Practice of Ministry I
T 9:00-10:20 S400

PQ: 2nd year MDiv students only

Philosophy of Religions

DVPR 34806 Augustine's On the Trinity
TH 1:30-4:20 S201

 THEO 34806

Religion, Literature, and Visual Culture

RLIT 32400 Theory of Literature: The Twentieth Century
W 1:30-4:20 S201

This course will be a survey of 20th century literary criticism, considering the century’s most influential theories: phenomenology, hermeneutics, reception theory, Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, post-structuralism, and new historicism. We will also consider some of the 19th century texts that serve as the philosophical sources for these movements as well as the political implications and movements that develop in conjunction with these theories.

RLIT 35503 Midrash and Revelation
TH 9:00-11:50 S403

 

This course will focus on the presentation of the event of revelation at Sinai in midrashic sources from several periods (especially, Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael; Pesikta de-Rav Kahana; Exodus Rabba; Song of Songs Rabba; and Tanhuma), as well as pertinent cases in the contemporary liturgical poetry.  Particular attention will be given to the types, forms and content of exegetical theology involved.

Knowledge of Hebrew desired, but English translations will be provided.

Ident. HIJD 35503

RLIT 38607 Lament and Lamentation in Jewish Literature I
W 3:00-5:50 S403

This course will focus on the theme of lament and lamentation in ancient Jewish literature.  It will begin with theories of lament and comparative sources from antiquity.  It will then take up some representative Psalms from Scripture; portions of the book of Lamentation; selections from the Midrash on Lamentation (both from the proem and the commentary); and related material from contemporary liturgical poetry (Piyyut).

Knowledge of Hebrew required (or consent of instructor)

Ident. HIJD 35503

RLIT 43301 Tragedy: Theory and Texts
M/F 1:30-2:50 S208

 

 

Study of the writing and the performance, as well as the receptions and the theories, of tragic drama as practiced in ancient Greece, Elizabethan England, and early twentieth-century Europe.

RLIT 45402 Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
Th 4:00-6:50 S403

A careful study of select passages in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed focusing on the method of the work, its exegetical framework, and its major philosophical-theological themes, including divine attributes, creation vs. eternity, prophecy, the problem of evil and providence, law and ethics, and the final aim of human existence. There is no language requirement; all readings will be in English. There will be an extra optional session for students who want to read the text in the original.

Ident. HIJD 45400/NEHC 40470/ISLM 45400/RLST 21107/FNDL 24106

RLIT 45612 Religion in the European Enlightenment: Spinoza to Kant
T 6:00-8:50 S400

Readings in primary texts that are understood to constitute the historical phenomenon denominated “the Enlightenment,” with particular attention to major themes and the variations played upon them by thinkers at this time: the status of the Bible as sacred and/or historical text; conceptions of truth as revealed, as natural, and/or as revealed by nature; the emergence of the idea of “religious experience”; the category of the miraculous, and its relation to conceptions of providence and natural orders; and the place of religion in emerging political structures that have their basis in conceptions of citizenship and rights.

Ident. HIJD 45612

Religions in America

RAME 34900 The Age of Walter Rauschenbusch: History and Historiography of the Social Gospel
W 9:00-11:50 S403

This course is an intensive analysis of the origins, development, and historical significance of the Social Gospel as a religious and social reform movement in America. Particular emphasis is devoted to the theological works of Walter Rauschenbusch and broader intellectual and cultural developments in the US from the 1880s to the 1920s. Some basic knowledge of the history of biblical interpretation is helpful to make sense of the theological and biblical controversies of the time period. Some attention in class and in the readings will be devoted to the origin of these developments as a factor in the emergence of the Social Gospel.

Ident. HCHR 34900

RAME 40608 Becoming Modern: Religion in America in the 1920s
M 9:00-11:50 S200

Terms such as “acids of modernity” and the “modern temper” were commonly used in the 1920s to describe a new phenomenon in American history. Historians still regard the 1920s as a significant moment in US History, even while revising older narratives that viewed such changes as leading to a decline in church attendance and religious practice. In the 1920s, the nation struggled with the effects of massive immigration, decades of urbanization, and significant cultural and social changes that had profound implications for religious practice and belief. This course takes an extended look at the 1925 Scopes Trial, the fundamentalist modernist controversy, and the intellectual and cultural challenges to traditional religious beliefs and practices.

Ident. HCHR 40608

Religious Ethics

RETH 30802 Contemporary Religious Ethics I
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S201

This is the first of a two-quarter survey of the rise and development of religious ethics.  It will examine pioneering work that established a new style of scholarship during the “quiet revolution” when Religious Studies programs gained an institutional footing in North American colleges and universities, starting in the late 1960s.  Readings probe ethical resources within specific religious traditions, methodological proposals for carrying out work in religious ethics, or new paradigms in the humanities and social sciences that catalyzed work in religious ethics.  Much of the reading during the first quarter will focus on matters of theory and method.   Readings for the second quarter will focus more on normative resources within religious traditions or on specific ethical problems. Students may enroll in either or both quarters.  Doctoral students in the RETH area are encouraged to enroll in both quarters.  

RETH 51301 Seminar: Law-Philosophy Workshop
M 4:00-6:00 ARR

Primary instructor: Brian Leiter. 

The theme is “Topics in Jurisprudence”.

RETH 51604 Seminar: John Stuart Mill
T 3:00-5:45 ARR

A careful study of Mill's Utilitarianism in relation to his ideas of self-realization and of liberty.  We will study closely at least Utilitarianism, On Liberty, the essays on Bentham and Coleridge, The Subjection of Women, and the Autobiography, trying to figure out whether Mill is a Utilitarian or an Aristotelian eudaimonist, and what view of "permanent human interests" and of the malleability of desire and preference underlies his political thought.  If time permits we will also study his writings about India.

Admission by permission of the instructor.  Permission must be sought in writing by September 15. 

Prerequisite: An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation.  This is a 500 level course.  Ph.D. students in Philosophy and Political Theory may enroll without permission.  Economics graduate students are encouraged to apply; professor will discuss the philosophy prerequisite in a flexible way with such students.

Ident. PHIL 51204/LAWS 51207 

RETH 52104 Augustine, Kierkegaard, and the Problem of Love
T 2:00-4:50 S200

This seminar will examine how Augustine and Kierkegaard theorized about the virtues and duties of love, focusing on their respective moral psychologies.    We will also examine how their ideas about love served as a basis for their political and cultural criticism.    

PQ: Background in philosophy or theology recommended but not required.

Theology

THEO 30700 History of Christian Thought V: Modern Religious Thought

This course traces the history of Modern Christian thought from Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel through Troeltsch and Barth.

Ident. HCHR 30900

THEO 34806 Augustine’s On the Trinity
TH 1:30-4:20 S201

Ident. DVPR 34806

THEO 40102 Womanist Theology: 1st Generation
T 9:00-11:50 S403

Womanist Theology is a contemporary theological discipline in the American academy.  It emerged in 1979 and has differentiated into various other disciplines, foci, and methodologies.  All scholars agree that womanist theology does the following work:   (1) expands the theory and method of the academy; (2) broadens the intellectual conversation; (3) welcomes new voices into theological explorations; and (4) challenges the very notion of assumed epistemology.  In 1979 Jacquelyn Grant wrote what has now been recognized as the first “womanist” article, “Black Theology and the Black Woman”.   In that essay, Grant astutely pointed out certain blind spots in black theology of liberation, the larger discussions about the academic study of religion, and the relation between theology and faith communities.

THEO 40500 Black Theology: 1st Generation
W 12:00-2:50 S200

This quarter we look at the origin of contemporary black theology, with its beginnings on July 31, 1966.  Black theology, on that date, was created by African American clergy who offered one interpretation of the new black consciousness movement.  The latter began June 16, 1966 in Greenwood,  Mississippi. Already, we can see that, perhaps, black theology might be the only theological discipline in the USA that did not originate in the academy.  Instead, it was birthed out of people’s everyday lives searching for human dignity and a better community on earth.  As the new body of knowledge progressed, thinkers saw the necessity to clarify its conceptual, theoretical, and theological positions.  An entire body of literature, almost fifty years of writing, has arisen defining the methodological contours of this recent creation.  This course explores the responses and critiques internal to black theology.  How did this discipline seek to correct itself with debate among the first generation of founders?

THEO 43302 Contemporary Theological Anthropologies

This course will examine a variety of recent theological anthropologies, paying special attention to their handling of science and diversity.