Department of Religious Studies

R S F335 • Jesus In Hist And Tradition

82005 • Landau, Brent
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM MEZ 2.122
GCWr (also listed as C C F348)
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This class examines what can be known about the historical individual known as Jesus of

Nazareth and how later Christian tradition and popular culture constructs him. We will

begin by studying the earliest Christian gospels to see how much they can tell us about the

historical Jesus. We will then examine and critique one New Testament scholar’s

influential but controversial reconstruction of the historical Jesus. Next, we will study

some alternative historical reconstructions of Jesus and see how scholars of early

Christianity respond to them. Finally, we will chart how early Christians eventually came to

believe that Jesus was God

R S F353 • Law/Justice In The Bible

82010 • Wells, Bruce
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM BEN 1.126
GC (also listed as MES F342)
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This course examines the legal traditions of the Torah (Pentateuch) and what they reveal about the practice of law and justice in ancient Israel and the wider biblical world. It then explores the reuse of these traditions in other portions of the Hebrew Bible and the growth of related traditions in prophetic and wisdom literature. Legal and ethical theories will also be used to provide context for understanding ideas about law and justice in the ancient world. The course acquaints students with how various biblical traditions developed over time to form the foundation for later rabbinic and Christian ethical thought.

R S S353C • Angl/Demn/Magc Early Christ

82050 • Smith, Geoffrey
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM BIO 301
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The world as early Christians imagined it was a spiritual universe inhabited by angels and demons. These lesser gods were thought to govern the mundane affairs experienced by Christians, day-to-day matters like health, wealth, love, and revenge. But how did Christians come to view the world in this way? How did angelology and demonology influence the ways that Christians thought about the world around them? And to what extent did Christians use magic to manipulate the spiritual world? We will consider these and other questions in this survey of early Christian views of angels, demons, and magic. All primary sources will be read in translation.

R S S373 • Religion And Food

82055 • Seales, Chad
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 302
(also listed as AMS S321)
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This course examines the material relationships between religion and food, comparing the ritual functions of food in religious traditions and the collective constructions of religious identities in traditional foodways.  Engaging methodological approaches in Religious Studies, American Studies, Cultural Studies, and Ritual Studies, the course will track key themes of religious, ethnic, and national identity, immigration and acculturation, and industrialization and corporatism, through case studies of food production, distribution, and consumption within and across the geographic regions of the Americas, Europe, and Asia.