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 34410 Anthropology of Religion I
T 1:00-3:50 S201

This course surveys various methods and topics in the study of religion in the social sciences. We will begin with social evolutionist models, moving to the interpretive cultural turn and genealogical approaches.  Classic analytics raised in the field of anthropology include ritual and tradition, semiotics, arts and performance, embodiment, authority and agency.  We will also engage recent debates around the sociology of conversion, secularism, the idea of 'world religions', the politics of religious difference, religious violence and global religious movements. 

Ident.  HREL 34410/ANTH 35031

AASR 36004 Psychology and Religion: Two Problem Children of Modernity
M 1:30-4:20 S208

Instructor: Benjamin Y. Fong

Most courses devoted to the intersection of psychology and religion either provide an introduction to the contemporary field of the psychology of religion, or else examine the works of more well-known authors who are its supposed historical antecedents (mostnotably, William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung). The present course aims to take a broader view of this topic: beginning with the genesis of the problematics of religion and psychology in the sixteenth century and focusing in particular on the relation between the two in 18th and 19th century western thought, we will attempt to sketch a history of their strange coincidence up to the time of James, Freud, and Jung, with whose well-known works we will end the course.

Ident. RLST 27111

AASR 42211 Spirits of Capitalism
W 4:00-6:50 S201

This seminar examines the relationship between religion and capitalism, paying particular attention to the influence of late capitalist markets on faiths, virtues, values, natures, moralities and spiritualities.  Pairing theory with ethnography, we will look at how various religious discourses and practices encounter mediations of labor, commodification, credit, neoliberal discipline and corporate power.  To grasp the uneven currency of capitalist modernity, we will consider its ideological translations in colonial and postcolonial contexts throughout Asia, Americas, Africa and Europe. 

Ident. HREL 42211

AASR 50201 New Narratives of Secularization and Sacralization
T 9:00-11:50 and W 9:30-12:20 F 505

Instructor: Hans Joas

While secularization theory was for a long time dominant in the sociology of religion and in the wider discourse about religion in the public sphere, the last years have brought not only serious critiques of that paradigm, but also interesting alternatives. Perhaps the most influential and wide-ranging of these is Charles Taylor’s magisterial book “A Secular Age”. A considerable amount of time in this class will be devoted to a close reading of this work, but we will also study texts by David Martin, a much less known, but very important British sociologist of religion ad pioneer of the revival of a historical and comparative sociology of religion (see now the “David Martin Reader”), by José Casanova (“Public Religions in the Modern World”), and by myself (“Faith as an Option”, Stanford UP 2014).

This course will be taught twice a week during the first five weeks of the quarter (Beg. September 29 thru October 28, 2015).

Ident. SCTH 50201/SOCI 50101

Bible

BIBL 33900 Introductory Biblical Hebrew 1
M/W/F 8:00-8:50 S201

Instructor: Jessica DeGrado

BIBL 35100 Introductory Koine Greek 1
M/W/F 8:00-8:50 S208

Instructor: Allison Gray

BIBL 35204 Love and Eros in the New Testament and Ancient World
T/TH 10:30-12:20 S200

The Greek term ἀγάπη ("love") and its cognates occur no less than 320 times in the New Testament, which attests to the remarkable fact that these writers placed love at the heart of the emerging Christian movement.  We will examine the concept of love in Paul, the Synoptic Gospels, and the Johannine literature, with special attention to the cultural background that informs these concepts in the Septuagint, early Judaism, Greco-Roman philosophy, deliberative rhetoric, and cultural notions of beneficence and reciprocity.  We will conclude by assessing interpretations of early Christian love in recent theology and philosophy.               

PQ: No Greek necessary; a special section with Greek reading will be offered from 11:50-12:20.

BIBL 44900 Paul’s Letter to the Romans
M/W 9:00-11:00 S208

The letter to the Romans is certainly one of the most influential texts of the New Testament. Melanchthon for example called it a “compendium theologiae christianae,” a handbook of Christian theology, but he underestimated the importance of the historical context for the correct understanding of Romans. Why did Paul write to a community that he had not founded himself at all? What did he want to tell his addressees? And which genre, which type of letter, did he choose and adapt or even create? We will try to reconstruct the situation of the letter from chapter 1 and chapters 15-16. Then we will read and explain some of the key passages, especially in chapters 1-8.

PQ: Greek reading will be offered from 10:20-11:00 M/W.

BIBL 45913 Ancient Medical Writings in Context
W 1:30-4:20 CL 021

Instructor: Elizabeth Asmis

Ident  CLAS 45913

 

BIBL 46804 The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Epistle of Barnabas
T/TH 9:00-10:20 S200

Tertullian was the first to attribute the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews to Barnabas, and that ascription found favor with no less an ancient figure as Jerome, and even with notable scholars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Albrecht Ritschl and Friedrich Blass. Although no one can know who wrote it, there are fruitful literary and thematic parallels between the Epistle that bears the name Barnabas and the canonical Hebrews, including their critique of Judaism and their interpretation Christiana of the Hebrew Bible, with particular regard to Levitical institutions and the temple. We will read thoroughly the Greek text of each treatise with focus on the language and style of the two texts, their relation to Hellenistic Judaism, and their respective treatments of Hebrew Bible/Septuagintal themes.

PQ:  3 years of Greek

Ident. GREK 23815/33815

BIBL 52304 The Priestly God in the Hebrew Bible
T/TH 1:30-2:50 S400

In this seminar, we will examine the depiction of the deity in the pentateuchal Priestly source and related texts in the Hebrew Bible as a window on the ancient Israelite religious imagination. All biblical texts will be read in Hebrew.

PQ:  Strong biblical Hebrew

BIBL 54404 Dion of Prusa and the New Testament
M 1:00-3:50 S403

The famous orator and stoic philosopher Dion of Prusa, who was called “Chrysostom” (“gold mouth”) because of his talent as a speaker long before John Chrysostom, may have lived from about 40 or 50 to 120 CE. He is therefore an important witness for the culture of the world, in which the New Testament writings took shape. We will concentrate first on Dion's 12th oration (i.e. the "Olympic Discourse"), which is perhaps the prime example of his art and which is important because of its philosophical and theological content, and we will continue with a cursory reading of his 1st oration (i.e. the "First Discourse on Kingship").

PQ: Good knowledge of Greek

BIBL 54700 Critical Methods for the study of the Hebrew Bible
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S400

This course will consider the development and application of critical methods in the study of the Hebrew Bible.  We will focus especially upon the questions that each critical method is meant to address and what kinds of conclusions can plausibly be drawn from their use.   We will apply these methods to texts from the book of Exodus.   However, this is not a course on Exodus, and we will actually read little of Exodus together during this quarter.

PQ:  Strong biblical Hebrew

Divinity School

DVSC 30400 Introduction to the Study of Religion
T/TH 4:00-5:20 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 on Fridays, 12:00-1:00 in S201/208/200/400.

DVSC 45100 Reading Course: Special Topic

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

DVSC 49900 Exam Preparation

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

DVSC 50100 Research: Divinity

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

DVSC 59900 Thesis Work: Divinity

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

History of Christianity

HCHR 30200 History of Christian Thought II
M 9:00-11:50 S106

This second class in the History of Christian Thought sequence deals with the period from Late Antiquity until the end of the Early Middle Ages, stretching roughly from 450 through 1350. The following authors and themes will be analysed and discussed:

1. The transition from Roman antiquity to the medieval period: Boethius and Cassiodorus

2. The rise of asceticism in the West: the Rule of St. Benedict and Gregory the Great

3. Connecting East and West: Dionysius the Areopagite and John Scottus Eriugena

4. Monastic and Scholastic paragons: Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Abelard

5. High-medieval monastic developments: Cistercians (Bernard of Clairvaux) and Victorines (Hugh and Richard of St. Victor), beguines (Hadewijch) and mendicants (Bonaventure).

6. Scholastic synthesis and spiritual alternatives: Thomas Aquinas, Marguerite Porete and Eckhart

Ident. THEO 30200/HIST 31902

HCHR 35600 The Christian Right: History and Historiography
M 9:00-11:50 S200

This seminar examines the “new” Christian Right as a political project and a prescriptive Christian way of living in a rapidly changing society. We explore the question of whether the Christian Right is primarily a response to a number of cultural and political shifts in the 1960s or a movement with a longer history and a broader agenda. Attention is also paid to the relationship between the Christian Right and the larger evangelical movement.

Ident. RAME 35600

HCHR 45600 African American Religion in the 20th Century: History and Historiography
W 9:00-11:50 S200

We explore the major interpretations of African American religions in the US in the 20th century. Special attention is paid to deconstructions of “the black church,” enduring debates about the nature and function of African American Christianity, and interpretative concerns about the distinctiveness of African American religion.

Ident. RAME 45600

History of Judaism

HIJD 30485 Jews in Graeco Roman Egypt
T/TH 9:00-10:20 ARR

Instructor: Sofia Torallas-Tovar    

Ident. NEHC 20485/RLST 20485

 

HIJD 34304 Readings in the Early Hasidic Masters: The Religious Teaching of Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl
TH 9:00-11:50 S403
The course will feature a close study of the theology and sermons of a major early spiritual master (early nineteenth century), through selected samples of his Sabbath sermons.  Background readings on Hasidic thought and theology will be assigned.  The sources will be studied with the original Hebrew text and with English translations.  No prior background or linguistic requirement necessary.
HIJD 40506 Martin Buber’s Conception of Religion and Judaism
W 6:00-8:50 S208

The course will consider Buber’s distinctive conception of religion and Judaism as it evolved from his earliest writings (as a student of Wilhelm Dilthey and Georg Simmel) to the crystallization of his philosophy of dialogue, as elaborated in his philosophical anthropology, works on Hasidism, the Hebrew Bible, and Hebrew Humanism.

Key texts: M. Buber, On Judaism; Religion as Presence; I and Thou; Hasidism and Modern Man; On the Bible; Two Types of Faith; Eclipse of God

HIJD 43804 Liturgical and Secular Time
T 1:30-4:20 Wieboldt 206

Co-taught with Erik Santner

The seminar will focus on the notion of liturgical time as developed by Franz Rosenzweig in the last part of his magnum opus, The Star of Redemption. New thinking about the political theological aspects of liturgical practices will also be examined, above all in the work of Giorgio Agamben. We will ultimately want to investigate the intersection of liturgical and messianic time in the figure of Sabbath rest.

Ident. GRMN  37915

HIJD 53359 Topics in Philosophy of Judaism: Ethics and Halakhah
ARR ARR

PQ: All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to vwallace@uchicago.edu by 09/11/2015. Applications should be no longer than one page and should include name, email address, phone number, and department or committee. Applicants should briefly describe their background and explain their interest in, and their reasons for applying to, this course. 

Does Judaism recognize an ethics independent of Halakhah (Jewish law)? What are the interrelations, conceptually and normatively, between ethics and Halakhah? How should we understand the conflicts between ethics and Halakhah, morality and religion? How does the Jewish tradition conceive of the notion of mitzvah (commandment), and what is the relationship between interpersonal mitzvot and mitzvot between human beings and God? What are the modes of Halakhic reasoning distinct from ethical argumentation? These topics will be considered through a study of the work of Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Aharon Lichtenstein, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, David Weiss Halivni, Daniel Sperber, and Emmanuel Lévinas.  Specific examples to be discussed may include the status of women, prayer, and repentance.

Ident. DVPR 53359/THEO 53359/PHIL 53359

History of Religions

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 34410 Anthropology of Religion I
T 1:00-3:50 S201

This course surveys various methods and topics in the study of religion in the social sciences. We will begin with social evolutionist models, moving to the interpretive cultural turn and genealogical approaches.  Classic analytics raised in the field of anthropology include ritual and tradition, semiotics, arts and performance, embodiment, authority and agency.  We will also engage recent debates around the sociology of conversion, secularism, the idea of 'world religions', the politics of religious difference, religious violence and global religious movements. 

Ident.  AASR 34410/ANTH 35031

HREL 42211 Spirits of Capitalism
W 4:00-6:50 S201

This seminar examines the relationship between religion and capitalism, paying particular attention to the influence of late capitalist markets on faiths, virtues, values, natures, moralities and spiritualities.  Pairing theory with ethnography, we will look at how various religious discourses and practices encounter mediations of labor, commodification, credit, neoliberal discipline and corporate power.  To grasp the uneven currency of capitalist modernity, we will consider its ideological translations in colonial and postcolonial contexts throughout Asia, Americas, Africa and Europe. 

Ident. AASR 42211

HREL 44608 Shamans, Witches, and Werewolves
M/W 9:00-10:20 S201
HREL 47001 Pahlavi Language and Literature
ARR

PQ: Interested Students should contact the instructor regarding time/day

Islamic Studies

ISLM 30010 Survey of Persian Literature: Prose 900-1500 CE
M 3:00-5:50 ARR

This course surveys the development of Persian prose literature from the tenth to fifteenth century, with a focus on prose genres, including scientific texts (e.g., Hodud al-`alam), mirrors for princes (e.g., Qabus-nama), political theory (e.g., Siyasat-nama), sufi hagiography (e.g., Attar's Tazkerat al-owliya), mystical treatises (e.g., Kashf al-Mahjub, Kimiya-ye sa`adat, Savaneh), philosophical allegories (e.g., `Aql-e sorx), historical texts (such as Tarix-e jahangosha), and belles lettres (e.g, maqamat of Hamidi, and prose romances), and religious texts (such as Rowzat al-shohada). We will become acquainted with a variety of authors, consider the ways that Persian language itself is changing, and how genres evolve.  Throughout, we will consider how intellectual history is revealed through Persian prose texts and question the traditional categories of chronological or stylistic periodization, and evaluate how (or whether?) one might best write a literary history of Persian, or a vernacular intellectual history of Islam, from the perspective of the Persian prose tradition.

This course is suitable as a third-year Persian course for students who have completed the intermediate Persian sequence.

Ident. PERS 30010

ISLM 30500 Islamic History & Society 1: The Rise of Islam and the Caliphate
MW 10:30-11:20 RO-015

Ident. NEHC 30501/HIST 35704/CMES 30501/RLST 20501

ISLM 30601 Islamic Thought and Literature 1
MWF 10:30-11:20 STU 105

Instructor: Tahera Qutbuddin

Ident. NEHC 30601/HIST 35610/CMES 30601/RLST 22000

ISLM 30641 Islamic Origins
MW 1:30-2:50 OR 210

Ident NEHC 30641/CMES 30641

ISLM 50300 Arabic Sufi Poetry
T 1:30-4:20 MMC Seminar Room

PQ: 2 years of Arabic or the equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Ident. RLIT 50300/ARAB 40390

Ministry and Religious Leadership

CHRM 30500 Introduction to Ministry Studies: Colloquium
W 1:30-2:50 S400

This year-long integration seminar grounds first year MDiv students in habits and perspectives essential to the practice of ministry. Students will cultivate the discipline of attention--learning to read closely, to listen deeply, to interrogate their experience, and to participate in rigorous critical conversation. During the first quarter, students will explore the relationship of narrative and theology; the second quarter will engage students in a close encounter with urban ministry; during the third quarter, students will integrate tradition, reason, and experience as they articulate definitions of ministry

PQ:  First year MDIV students only; course meets all year, register in Autumn quarter only.

CHRM 35100 Arts of Ministry: Worship and Preaching
F 9:00-11:50 S400

This course is the first of a three-quarter sequence introducing students to essential aspects of religious leadership; the sequence is required for second-year M.Div students and complements their field education experience. During this quarter students study, observe, and engage the practices that are unique to and constitutive of religious communities—corporate ritual and public speech. Through study of the literature of liturgics and homiletics, field trips, and worship/preaching labs, students will become familiar with a variety of worship practices, identify and articulate those which are essential to their own religious traditions, and cultivate their distinctive voices as worship leaders and preachers

PQ: Second year MDIV students only; others by permission of instructor.

CHRM 40600 Practice of Ministry I
TH 3:00-4:50 S400

PQ:  Second year M.DIV. students only.

Philosophy of Religions

DVPR 35305 Continental Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction
F 1:30-4:20 S208

Ident. THEO 35305

DVPR 53359 Topics in Philosophy of Judaism: Ethics and Halakhah
ARR ARR

PQ: All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to vwallace@uchicago.edu by 09/11/2015. Applications should be no longer than one page and should include name, email address, phone number, and department or committee. Applicants should briefly describe their background and explain their interest in, and their reasons for applying to, this course. 

Does Judaism recognize an ethics independent of Halakhah (Jewish law)? What are the interrelations, conceptually and normatively, between ethics and Halakhah? How should we understand the conflicts between ethics and Halakhah, morality and religion? How does the Jewish tradition conceive of the notion of mitzvah (commandment), and what is the relationship between interpersonal mitzvot and mitzvot between human beings and God? What are the modes of Halakhic reasoning distinct from ethical argumentation? These topics will be considered through a study of the work of Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Aharon Lichtenstein, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, David Weiss Halivni, Daniel Sperber, and Emmanuel Lévinas.  Specific examples to be discussed may include the status of women, prayer, and repentance.

Ident. HIJD 53359/THEO 53359/PHIL 53359

Religion, Literature, and Visual Culture

RLIT 42204 Religion and Literature in France
W 1:30-4:20 S403

This course will consider the immediate post-WWII period in French Thought and will have as it central concern to show how debates over Marxism and Humanism were conducted in and through a re-evaluation of the categories of religion and literature.  We will be considering the influence of Heidegger, the emergence of Personalism, and the renaissance of postwar Judaism.  We will thus be reading the seminal figures in this debate: Sartre, Camus, Bataille, Blanchot, Levinas, and Jean Wahl. Most texts will be  available in translation but reading knowledge of French is highly recommended.

PQ: French reading skills preferred

RLIT 50300 Arabic Sufi Poetry
T 1:30-4:20 MMC Seminar Room

PQ: 2 years of Arabic or the equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Ident. ISLM 50300/ARAB 40390

Religions in America

RAME 35600 The Christian Right: History and Historiography
M 9:00-11:50 S200

This seminar examines the “new” Christian Right as a political project and a prescriptive Christian way of living in a rapidly changing society. We explore the question of whether the Christian Right is primarily a response to a number of cultural and political shifts in the 1960s or a movement with a longer history and a broader agenda. Attention is also paid to the relationship between the Christian Right and the larger evangelical movement.

Ident. HCHR 35600

RAME 45600 African American Religion in the 20th Century: History and Historiography
W 9:00-11:50 S200

We explore the major interpretations of African American religions in the US in the 20th century. Special attention is paid to deconstructions of “the black church,” enduring debates about the nature and function of African American Christianity, and interpretative concerns about the distinctiveness of African American religion.

Ident. HCHR 45600

Religious Ethics

RETH 30404 Introduction to Philosophical Ethics
M 1:30-4:20 S201

This course is an introduction to three major alternatives in Western philosophical ethics through attention to the ethics of Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant.

RETH 30702 Introduction to Environmental Ethics
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S201

This course will examine answers to four questions that have been foundational to religious environmental ethics:  Are religious traditions responsible for environmental crises?  To what degree can religions address environmental crises?  Does the natural world have intrinsic value in addition to instrumental value to humans?  What point of view (anthropocentrism, biocentrism, theocentrism) should ground an environmental ethic? 

PQ: Undergraduates may enroll with permission of the instructor.

RETH 30904 Minor Classics in Ethics
Various Thursdays, 12:15-1:30; see description Swift 400A

This is an informal, non-credit reading group of RETH Faculty and all students interested in religious ethics to discuss minor classics in contemporary ethics, philosophy, and theology.  No background is required. Selected articles have revitalized forgotten themes or have launched new problems for moral philosophy and religious ethics.    

Thursdays 12:15-1:30pm: 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th weeks of the quarter. 

No Credit - DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE

Please send email contact information to Professor Richard Miller ( ) to gain access to the Chalk site, which will post the reading list and the readings in PDF.   

 
RETH 36002 The Ethics of War: Foundational Texts
T/TH 9:00-10:20 S400

This course will focus on foundational texts in the just-war tradition and the ethics of using force, drawing on the works of Augustine, Aquinas, Vitoria, Grotius, Walzer, and Fanon, along with those who have critically engaged their works.

PQ:  Coursework in philosophy or political science recommended, but not required.   

RETH 42802 Rights and Justice
T 2:00-4:50 S200

This course will examine contemporary theories of rights and justice, focusing on matters of racial justice, post-colonialism, global poverty, animal rights, gender justice, justice across cultures, environmental justice, and the human rights regime.  Readings theorize about justice and rights and apply those concepts to social problems that, for the most part, lie outside the bounds of the nation-state, or to subjects that are not understood according to the category of state citizenship.  Authors include Martin Luther King, Jr., Gustavo Gutierrez, Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Pogge, and Nicholas Wolterstorff, among others.   Readings generally aim to expand the scope of moral concern to include neglected or vulnerable human populations, animals, and the environment.  Prior work in ethics, philosophy, or political theory is welcome but not required. 

RETH 50315 Amartya Sen’s Philosophical Work
T 3:00-5:00 ARR

Amartya Sen is, of course, a distinguished economist, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize.  But he is also a philosopher whose philosophical thought informs his economic writings and who has long defended the importance of philosophy for economic thought.  This course will study the philosophical aspects of his thought, not attempting to separate them from his economic contributions, which would be wrong, but attempting to focus on the specific contributions Sen has been able to make to economics in virtue of being a philosopher.  We will begin by studying two distinct though related strands of his thought: work on choice, welfare, and measurement, and work on development.  We continue with his influential critique of Utilitarianism on the nature of preference and value, and the importance of equality.  We will then devote substantial time to The Idea of Justice, a major contribution to political philosophy.  Finally, we will examine more recent writings on Indian rationalist philosophy and on religious identity.

PQ:  Admission by permission of the instructor.  Permission must be sought in writing by September 15.       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.  I am eager to have some Economics graduate students in the class, and will discuss the philosophy prerequisite in a flexible way with such students.

Ident. PHIL 50315

RETH 51204 Sustainability
TH 1:30-4:20 S200

Since the 1980s, “sustainability” has skyrocketed from relative obscurity to a popular term indicating an amalgam of economic, environmental, and social goals.  While it is a trendy word, intense academic and political debates range about what it means and whether it is an achievable goal.  This course will examine debates about definitions of sustainability; who is responsible for sustainability (individuals, local, national, or international politics, business, or religious groups); and ethical priorities of sustainability including justice.

PQ:  One class in religious ethics.

Theology

THEO 30200 History of Christian Thought II
M 9:00-11:50 S106

This second class in the History of Christian Thought sequence deals with the period from Late Antiquity until the end of the Early Middle Ages, stretching roughly from 450 through 1350. The following authors and themes will be analysed and discussed:

1. The transition from Roman antiquity to the medieval period: Boethius and Cassiodorus

2. The rise of asceticism in the West: the Rule of St. Benedict and Gregory the Great

3. Connecting East and West: Dionysius the Areopagite and John Scottus Eriugena

4. Monastic and Scholastic paragons: Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Abelard

5. High-medieval monastic developments: Cistercians (Bernard of Clairvaux) and Victorines (Hugh and Richard of St. Victor), beguines (Hadewijch) and mendicants (Bonaventure).

6. Scholastic synthesis and spiritual alternatives: Thomas Aquinas, Marguerite Porete and Eckhart

Ident. HCHR 30200/HIST 31902

THEO 35305 Continental Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction
F 1:30-4:20 S208

Ident. DVPR 35305

THEO 43301 Contemporary Trinitarian Theology
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S208

Twentieth century Christian theology witnessed a significant revival in Trinitarian thought. This course will examine some developments in this revival’s “second wave,” including contributions from feminist, liberationist, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant thinkers

THEO 44704 Womanist Theology: A New Generation
T 9:00-11:50 S403

Using Alice Walker's phrase "womanist", womanist theology is the name adopted by a group of black American women who affirmed the positive relation between them and their "God" beliefs and, simultaneously, distanced themselves from white feminist and black male systems of religious thought This course engages a newer generation ofwomanist theologies. The 1979 founding and first generation of womanist scholars, especially Jacquelyn Grant, Delores Williams, and Katie Cannon, presented foundational scholarly issues, methods, and epistemologies just to begin a new academic (and life) discipline. This course will look at younger womanist scholars who build on the first generation but carry the discipline of womanist theology into some new and, at times, quite challenging directions that call into question some of the cornerstone tenets of the discipline.

THEO 45605 Readings in Systematic Theology
T/TH 3:00-4:20 S208

This course will consider significant recent texts, from a wide variety of perspectives, in systematic theology.

THEO 53359 Topics in Philosophy of Judaism: Ethics and Halakhah
ARR ARR

PQ: All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to vwallace@uchicago.edu by 09/11/2015. Applications should be no longer than one page and should include name, email address, phone number, and department or committee. Applicants should briefly describe their background and explain their interest in, and their reasons for applying to, this course. 

Does Judaism recognize an ethics independent of Halakhah (Jewish law)? What are the interrelations, conceptually and normatively, between ethics and Halakhah? How should we understand the conflicts between ethics and Halakhah, morality and religion? How does the Jewish tradition conceive of the notion of mitzvah (commandment), and what is the relationship between interpersonal mitzvot and mitzvot between human beings and God? What are the modes of Halakhic reasoning distinct from ethical argumentation? These topics will be considered through a study of the work of Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Aharon Lichtenstein, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, David Weiss Halivni, Daniel Sperber, and Emmanuel Lévinas.  Specific examples to be discussed may include the status of women, prayer, and repentance.

Ident. HIJD 53359/DVPR 53359/PHIL 53359