112 Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Examination of how the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was written and what its original meanings were, using the tools of historical criticism, archaeology, and religious history. The diverse religious perspectives within the text will be explored. Knowledge of the Hebrew language is not expected. (M3)
114 Jesus and the Gospels Exploration of what we can know historically about the life and activities of Jesus. Comparison of the four gospels of the Christian New Testament, so that their separate messages and emphases can be discerned. Gospels that present different views of Jesus and his teachings but were not included in the Christian Bible will also be studied. (M3)
115 Major Themes in the Qur'an The historical background within which the Qur’an appeared. Characteristic features of Qur'anic worldview. Topics of study include: Qur'anic views of God, God-human relation, God-world relation, and ethico-religious concepts. The course addresses different approaches and methods of interpretation in the tradition of Qur’anic exegesis and explores various challenges the Qur’an faces in the modern era, such as feminist challenges and the issue of violence and human rights. (M3)
116 Paul and Early Christianity Movement of earliest Palestinian Christianity into the Hellenistic world, studied through a focus on the Book of Acts and on the life and letters of the Apostle Paul. Historical methods for study of the Bible as a whole. (M3)
217 Paul through Jewish and Christian Eyes An introduction to the complex, perilous, and fascinating world of New Testament biblical interpretation through focus on the writings of Paul of Tarsus. We will explore the robustly debated topic of how to understand Paul, his letters, and his theology through study of the history of Christian antijudaism and antisemitism, exposure to contemporary biblical criticism, archeology, and other scientific findings, and via service learning. (M3)
248 Topics in Religion and Literature How the religious dimension of human experience is expressed and interpreted in literature, with focus on a particular author, group of writers, theme, or school of critical interpretation. Identification and evaluation of the way human religious experience is articulated through the literary imagination, whether classical, modern, or contemporary.