Department of Religious Studies

Nathan Leach


PhD Religious Studies, University of Texas Austin

Contact

Interests


Second Temple Judaism, Early Christianity, Early Christian Service in the Roman Military, Apocalyptic Literature

Biography


Nathan is originally from Missouri but gre up in Haiti, in a missionary family. He attended college at College of the Ozarks from 2005-2008, recieving a BA in History. Upon graduation he recieved a commission as an officer in the US Army, where he served as an infantry officer from 2008-2011. In 2011 Nathan left the Army and returned to academics, recieving an MTh in Theology and History in 2012 from the University of Edinburgh and an MTh in Biblical Studies in 2013 from the same university. In 2013-2015 Nathan studied at Yale Divinity School, recieving and MAR in Bible. Nathan is currently a PhD student in the Religious Studies program, focusing on Ancient Mediterranean Religions, at the University of Texas Austin. 

Courses


R S 315N • Intro To The New Testament-Wb

41845 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM
Internet
GC

This course focuses on some of the most influential religious texts in human history the 27 texts that were included in the New Testament. In addition, we will also read several other ancient texts that did not make it into the Christian Bible. During the semester we will explore the content of these texts, theories about how they were produced, methods used by scholars to interpret them, and conclusions that specialists reach about their significance. In the process, students will also have a chance to reflect on the general nature of human religiosity.

R S 315 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

42910 • Spring 2019
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 208
GCWr (also listed as CTI 304)

Description

What, according to the Bible, is required of us? What is our response to the deity? What is our place in the cosmos? With these questions in mind, this course seeks to cultivate both an understanding of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) and the New Testament and how biblical writers and subsequent interpreters grappled with notions of divine command and human obligation. We pursue this aim through close readings of the biblical texts themselves and the reception of biblical figures, themes, and ideas among its many interpreters. We begin by examining the historical sense of the Hebrew Bible as a product of the ancient Near East. We will then examine the practice of biblical interpretation among the competing Jewish ideologies at the turn of the Common Era, out of which emerged the early Christians and the New Testament. The later part of the course will highlight some of the major Jewish and Christian interpreters of the Bible in the pre-modern and modern periods and how, through their own view of “scripturalism”, these interpreters understood and formulated responses to questions of human nature, humanity’s relationship to the supernatural, and the meaning of life.

 

Texts

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version. Edited by Michael D. Coogan, Marc Z. Brettler, and Carol Newsom. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. (indicated by NOAB in the Plan of Study, below)

 

Course Pack with selections from Readings from Philo, Rabbinic Literature, Qur’anic Literature, Maimonides, Augustine, Luther, Spinoza, Mendelsohn, Kierkegaard, and others.

 

Grading

Attendance (10%), 5 short reading reports (2% each or 10%), 2 short papers (15% each or 30%), rewrite of one paper (25%), final exam (25%).

Curriculum Vitae


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