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Degree Programs and Requirements

General Requirements

The following general requirements apply to all students in the Divinity School.

A degree from the Divinity School is awarded following the completion of all stipulated requirements for the degree. Requirements for coursework vary among degree programs at the Divinity School. Students in the A.M.R.S., M.A, and M.Div. programs are required to register for and complete a certain number of courses as follows: nine courses for the A.M.R.S. program; fifteen for the M.A. program; twenty-nine for the M.Div. program. All master’s level students (A.M.R.S., M.A, and M.Div.) are required to complete the course "Introduction to the Study of Religion"; MDiv students may substitute Classical Theories of Religion for the Intro course. Particular areas of study do require specific courses of their doctoral students, and students should consult relevant faculty members and the guidelines of their specific areas of study concerning these matters.  Coursework is also a significant part of the Ph.D. program.  Normally, Ph.D. students are required to complete at least two courses per quarter for the first two years of study, both to develop their own scholarly capabilities and to provide appropriate opportunities for faculty members to assess their work.

Students in all degree programs except the A.M.R.S. are required to complete a minimum number of years of scholastic residence.  These students normally complete the residence requirement through continuous registration in the autumn, winter, and spring quarters of successive academic years.  All students doing research leading to a degree, preparing for the qualifying examination, or writing dissertations must be registered. 

M.A. and M.Div. students will not be allowed to register for the second or third year of their programs if they have more than three incomplete grades outstanding.  (An incomplete grade is marked as an “I” or a "NGR" on a student’s transcript.  See the section on “Grading System” for more information.)  All students who wish to qualify for federal student loans must be enrolled in at least two courses in a quarter and must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and a minimum of one passing grade per quarter.  Students with incomplete grades must complete the work within one calendar year.  Failure to do so may result in repayment penalties with regard to federal student loans, and will jeopardize the student’s status in satisfactory academic progress.  In such cases, a Plan for Completion of Incomplete Coursework must be completed and submitted to the Dean of Students to ensure timely completion of academic work.

All degree programs in the Divinity School except the A.M.R.S. require completion of a foreign language requirement.  Students complete this requirement by passing the University of Chicago language examination with a “High Pass” (P*).  Administered by the University, the examinations test reading comprehension by requiring the translation into idiomatic English of short passages from scholarly publications. M.A. students must the foreign language requirement in either French or German.  M.Div. students must meet the requirement in the language determined to be most appropriate for engaging the text(s) of the student's tradition.  Ph.D. students must meet the requirement in French and German, although some areas of study have additional language requirements in other modern or ancient languages.  Ph.D. students should consult area guidelines for specific language requirements for the area.  Ph.D. students may also petition to substitute either French or German with another language if the language is determined to be more relevant to the student's access to secondary literature in the field.  Such substitutions are made via a minor petition to the Committee on Degrees.  Students should contact the Dean of Students for more information on the petition process.

Students may also meet the requirement by receiving the grade of "A" in the University's "Reading and Research Purposes" courses in either French or German.

Students register to graduate upon completion of all degree requirements.  The deadline for such registration is the Friday of the first week of each academic quarter--autumn, winter, spring and summer.

Master of Arts Programs

The Divinity School offers three master’s degrees: the A.M.R.S., the M.A., and the M.Div.

The A.M.R.S requires completion of nine courses within three years or nine academic quarters, and is a concentrated program in the study of religion for those in other professions (e.g., law, medicine, business, journalism, the arts) or those who seek greater knowledge of and sophistication in the study of religion. 

The M.A. requires two years of residence and is a foundational program in the academic study of religion for students who wish to acquire the requisite skills to develop a research agenda for doctoral study, or to establish a basis for a career in such related fields as education, publishing, government service, non-profit work, etc. 

The M.Div. requires three years of residence and is an intensive cohort-based course of study that prepares students for public religious leadership both in traditional ministerial professions, including teaching and scholarship, and in new and emerging forms of public religious leadership.  See detailed descriptions of the requirements for these degrees below.

Transfer Among Programs

Students are admitted to only one of the master’s-level degree programs, but the Divinity School recognizes that students may change their educational objectives during their first year of study. For that reason, if students have persuasive reasons for doing so, they may petition to transfer among the programs.

Students in the A.M.R.S., M.A., and M.Div. programs are required to take the course introducing students to the study of religion. In the spring quarter of their first year, all students will meet with the Dean of Students to review their academic progress and goals. Students desiring to transfer among programs may petition to do so.

In the winter quarter of the second year (or in the winter quarter of the year following receipt of the M.A. degree) for those enrolled in the M.A. program and of the third year for those enrolled in the M.Div. program, students may apply to the Ph.D. program by in-house petition. M.A. students who wish to do so must have completed three courses in the area of study to which they are applying by the end of the autumn quarter.   Students admitted to the Ph.D. program must have received the master’s degree prior to matriculation into the Ph.D. program.

Master of Arts (M.A.)

The M.A. program is a two-year foundational program in the academic study of religion for students who wish to acquire the requisite skills to develop a research agenda for doctoral study, or to establish a basis for a career in such related fields as education, publishing, government service, non-profit work, etc.

The M.A. program is two years (6 full-time academic quarters) in duration. Students in the program may apply by course of study petition for Ph.D. admission in the winter quarter of their second year or in the winter quarter of the first or second year following receipt of the M.A. Students are required to complete fifteen courses during the six quarters of registration to receive the degree. This number of courses is considered optimal for achieving the program’s dual goal of genuine breadth of acquaintance with the methods of religious inquiry and some depth of knowledge in a specific area of concentration.

Requirements

  1. Two years (6 quarters) of registration
  2. Proof of competence in French or German (see under General Requirements)
  3. Fifteen courses, including the following:

Satisfactory completion during the first year of study of the course  “Introduction to the Study of Religion”.

Satisfactory completion of one additional course from each of the three committees of the faculty. Selected courses in each area of study have been designated by the faculty as introductory in that area of study and therefore appropriate in meeting this requirement. These courses have been so noted in the web-based listing of Divinity School courses for each academic quarter.  However, any course that is appropriately associated with a given committee of the faculty may meet the distribution requirement.  

Unless otherwise indicated, satisfactory completion signifies work completed at the level of B- or higher. MA students may count only one grade of Pass towards the required 15 courses.

The Introduction to the Study of Religion Course

The academic study of religion(s) is complex not simply by virtue of its diverse subject matter, but because of the many different perspectives from which scholars investigate and define the subject. Scholars of religion throughout the academy engage in research that emphasizes historical, comparative, literary critical, philosophical, social scientific, or ethical methods and questions. The Divinity School faculty believes that the capacity to engage in this interdisciplinary conversation will enrich the student’s scholarly agenda. For that reason, the M.A. program requires enrollment during the first year of the program in the DVSC 30400  Introduction to the Study of Religion course. Using a selected text, faculty from a variety of disciplines engage the text in dialogue with the lead instructor and students. This course accomplishes three purposes. First, it illustrates the types of questions that are pursued within the eleven areas of study of the faculty. Second, it situates these methods and questions in the wider sweep of Western inquiries into the nature of religion. Third, it assists the M.A. student in defining the distinctive character of his or her Ph.D. project, and the group of written examinations that would best enable the student to pursue that project.

Because all students in master’s programs at the Divinity School are also required to take this course, the conversation is further enriched by the diverse perspectives of scholars who plan careers in the academy as well as leadership within a religious tradition.

Requirements for each course will be determined by the instructor. This course may not be taken pass/fail. Successful completion requires receipt of a letter grade of B- or higher.              

This course is required for all MA and AMRS students. MDiv students must choose between this course and "Classical Theories in Religion" in order to meet the introductory course requirement. MDiv students should consult with the Director of Ministry Studies as to the appropriate choice for their course of study. 

Elective Course Work

With the exception of the introductory course, DVSC 30400 “Introduction to the Study of Religion”, M.A. students elect their course work for the degree. A total of fifteen courses are required over the two years of the program. They consult with faculty about the courses that would be most useful in helping them to determine the focus and direction of their work. The following guidelines outline the types of work these students should pursue over the two years of the program:

  1. Further courses emphasizing breadth in the study of religion—M.A. students must complete three additional courses beyond the introductory course, one from each of the three committees of the faculty.
  2. Courses in the area of study in which the student wishes to concentrate Ph.D. study—the M.A. student who applies to the Ph.D. program must have completed three courses in the proposed area of concentration.
  3. Language study, further elective course work in the Divinity School, or course work elsewhere in the University.

Application to the Ph.D. Program

The Divinity School’s M.A. program is its primary source of Ph.D. students. While admission to the M.A. does not guarantee admission to the Ph.D., the Divinity School does offer its M.A. students the opportunity to apply to the Ph.D. program by in-house petition, and a student’s performance in the M.A. program constitutes the central criterion for admission to the Ph.D program.

M.A.  students apply to the Ph.D. program in the winter quarter of the second year or the winter quarter following receipt of the M.A. (The residence requirement makes it impossible for the student to complete all M.A. degree requirements before applying to the Ph.D. program; Ph.D. admission is contingent upon successful completion of all M.A. requirements prior to registration as a Ph.D. student.)

To apply to the Ph.D. program, an M.A. student must accomplish the following:

  1. Satisfactory completion of three courses, with grades recorded on the transcript, in the area in which the student proposes to concentrate Ph.D. study. These must be completed by the conclusion of the autumn quarter of the year prior to that in which the student makes application to the Ph.D. program.
  2. Submission of an appropriate research paper written for a course offered by the area to which the student is applying. It must be submitted with the grade and original faculty comments.
  3. Submission of a course of study petition requesting a faculty adviser, proposing written examinations—listing at least four Divinity School faculty members—and outlining a program of study at the Ph.D. level.

Master of Arts in Religious Studies (A.M.R.S.)

The M.A. program in Religious Studies is a concentrated program in the academic study of religion for those in other fields or professions (e.g., law, medicine, business, journalism, the arts), or those who seek greater knowledge in the study of religion.  The A.M.R.S. program can be completed in one year, or students may choose to pursue the degree by enrolling in no less than one course per quarter over a period of no more than nine academic quarters.

In consultation with the faculty advisor and the Dean of Students, A.M.R.S. students are free to choose from the course offerings of the various areas of study in the Divinity School and other parts of the University to meet these requirements. In some cases, the consent of the instructor may be required.

 Requirements

1.   Registration for, and completion of, a minimum of nine courses. Students are normally enrolled for no more than the equivalent of 3 academic years.

2Satisfactory completion of the course Introduction to the Study of Religion.”

3.   Satisfactory completion (B- or above) of courses in at least three areas of study in at least two of the committees of the faculty. Students should consult with the Dean of Students and their faculty advisor concerning an appropriate range of course work that meets this requirement.

4.   Completion of a one-hour oral examination based on a paper that represents the students interests in the study of religion. This document is normally the revised version of a paper the student wrote to complete the requirements of a course. The oral examination is convened by the Dean of Students, and includes the student and two faculty members with whom the student has worked. The examination paper is chosen by the student, but the students choice must be approved well in advance by the faculty member under whose direction the paper was originally written. A student scheduling his or her examination must make application to do so no later than the third week of the quarter in which he or she intends to take it.

Students from a variety of professions have pursued the A.M.R.S. degree, each focusing his/her coursework in one or more of the Divinity Schools eleven areas of study.  These students also take advantage of related coursework available across the University of Chicago, e.g., courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions. For some, the goal is focused study in one areaFor others, their course selections reveal a desire to study broadly in the field of religion to learn more about particular religious traditions as well as developing skill in the theories and method that undergird the academic study of religion as a human phenomenon. Faculty may recommend language study as deemed appropriate for the students course of study.

A.M.R.S. students may pursue the degree in one, focused full-time year of study.  Given the demands of their current professions, many more will choose to pursue the degree at a slower pace, earning 9 course credits over as many as three academic years. Tuition is charged on a per course basis, making this option attractive for active professionals who must balance their studies with a busy careerA.M.R.S. students are also encouraged to take advantage of graduate student workshops, lectures and academic clubs.

Doctor of Philosophy (PH.D.) Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program prepares students for teaching and research in the area of religion. Instruction and research in the Ph.D. program is organized by means of the eleven areas of study: Anthropology and Sociology of Religion, Bible, History of Christianity, History of Judaism, History of Religions, Islamic Studies, Philosophy of Religions, Religions in America, Religion Literature and Visual Culture, Religious Ethics, and Theology. Ph.D. students concentrate their work in an area of study toward the end of achieving a high level of expertise and the capacity to pursue advanced research in it. Ph.D. students also must pursue substantial work in at least one other area of study to prepare broadly for their future careers and to locate their research in contexts outside of, but relevant to, their own concentration.

The Divinity School’s Committee on Degrees—composed of the Dean of Students and three faculty members from across each of the committees of the faculty—supervises the individual doctoral student’s course of study and dissertation proposal. (Students who enter the Ph.D. program from the M.A. in Divinity program must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. not completed as part of their M.A. curriculum.)

Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion (at least B- level) of significant coursework during at least the first two years of study. Normally, Ph.D. students are enrolled in a minimum of two courses per quarter during these first two years. 
  2. Successful completion of the required seminar for first year doctoral students, normally offered in the autumn quarter.
  3. Approval from the Committee on Degrees of a course of study petition outlining the student’s anticipated program of study through the qualifying examination. (For students in the Divinity School’s M.A. in Divinity program, this petition constitutes part of the application for doctoral admission.) Entering Ph.D. students must submit this petition during their first year in residence. (For further details, see the section “The Course of Study Petition.”
  4. Ph.D. students must demonstrate reading competence in two languages for scholarly research. Students must successfully meet all language reading exam requirements in order to be eligible to take doctoral qualifying exams. This includes any area-specific requirements for ancient and modern languages as well as French, German, or any approved substitution. Under normal circumstances, these languages will be French and German. Students may meet the requirement by taking the University's language exams and receiving a grade of "high-pass" (P*), or by receiving a grade of "A" in the University's "Reading and Research Purposes" courses offered in French and German.  When a student, in consultation with her or his advisor for the course of study, comes to the judgment that there is in fact a modern scholarly language that is of more immediate relevance to said course of study, the student may petition the Committee on Degrees to replace French or German with that language. Only one such replacement may be requested. The petition must explain the rationale for the replacement, and demonstrate (a) that the replacement language is indeed of central scholarly importance to the student’s program (i.e., that the scholarly literature in the language is significant) and (b) that the language being replaced is not at least equally relevant. The petition should also indicate whether the University offers a reading examination in the language or, in cases when such an examination is unavailable, explain how the student will certify reading competence. Decisions of the Committee are final, and may not be appealed, i.e., such a petition will be reviewed by the Committee once. N.B.: All Ph.D. students must satisfactorily complete the foreign language reading exams before being allowed to sit for Ph.D. qualifying exams. This includes any area-specific language exam requirements.
  5. Satisfactory completion of courses, colloquia, and assignments that may be stipulated in the specific guidelines of the student’s area of concentration.
  6. Satisfactory completion of the second-year progress conference, normally held in the spring quarter of the second year, or the fall of the third year. Progress conferences are held in accordance with the respective area's guidelines, and will normally include assessment of coursework to date, cogency of the course of study petition, readiness for qualifying examinations, and development of the dissertation project. A report from the advisor and a timeline for the qualifying examinations is submitted to the Dean of Students following the conference.
  7. Satisfactory completion of the qualifying examinations, which consists of:
    1. the four written examinations specified in the student’s petition and approved by the Committee on Degrees,
    2. a research paper written by the student and submitted to all examiners during the first week of the quarter in which the student takes the qualifying examination, and
    3. a concluding oral examination focused on the research paper and the written examinations. The oral examination committee must include at least four Divinity School faculty members. (For further details, see the section “The Qualifying Examination,” below.)
  8. The completion of teaching assignments equivalent to a total of five (5) teaching points, consistent with the established point system for various levels of teaching appointments currently in effect. The current point value system is available from the Dean of Students. (For example, a teaching assistant appointment is worth one point, and a lecturer appointment is worth two (2) points.) Students ordinarily will begin teaching in the third year, completing two assignments in each of the third and fourth years. A student should consult with the academic advisor to plan for the timing of the qualifying exams and the completion of the teaching assignments.
  9. The completion of an acceptable dissertation approved by the student’s established reading committee. The dissertation shall be an original contribution to scholarship in the area of religious inquiry. The dissertation proposal must be submitted no later than one calendar year after the successful completion of the qualifying exams.
  10. The student should complete the qualifying examinations and submit the dissertation proposal by the end of the fourth year of residence. 
  11. Students entering the Ph.D. program prior to summer quarter 2016, are limited to a maximum 12 years of academic registration, inclusive of any leaves of absence or quarters in pro forma registration.  Students who are admitted to candidacy but have not completed the Ph.D. by the end of the twelfth year will be administratively withdrawn from the University at the conclusion of that period, and will no longer have any privileges associated with active student registration. Such students who wish to ultimately complete the dissertation and graduate with the Ph.D. degree must petition the Committee on Degrees for permission to complete the dissertation.  A timeline approved by the advisor must be submitted.  Such students may graduate in a subsequent quarter, and will be enrolled at the prevailing pro forma tuition. Students must meet all other requirements for the completion of the PhD degree, including a successful midpoint review, approval of the dissertation by the dissertation committee, and submission of the dissertation to the University's Dissertation Office by the stated deadlines.
  12. Students entering the Ph.D. program effective summer 2016 and following are limited to nine (9) years of academic registration.  Leaves of absence or quarters of pro forma registration, however, are not counted within the 9 year limit.  Students who are admitted to candidacy but have not completed the Ph.D. by the end of the ninth year will be administratively withdrawn from the University at the conclusion of that period, and will no longer have any privileges associated with active student registration. Such students who wish to ultimately complete the dissertation and graduate with the Ph.D. degree must petition the Committee on Degrees for permission to complete the dissertation.  A timeline approved by the advisor must be submitted.  Such students may graduate in a subsequent quarter, and will be enrolled at the prevailing pro forma tuition.  Students must meet all other requirements for the completion of the Ph.D. degree, including a successful midpoint review, approval of the dissertation by the dissertation committee, and submission of the dissertation to the University's Dissertation Office by the stated deadlines.

The Course of Study Petition

The course of study petition includes the following:

  1. A statement that identifies topics of scholarly interest and a proposal for research.
  2. A list of four written examinations drawn from among those offered by the areas of study as best suited to the student’s program. (At least four Divinity School faculty members (including Associated faculty members), must participate in the written examinations.)
  3. The designation of one faculty member as adviser for the student’s course of study.

The student submits the original hardcopy petition and one electronic copy to the Dean of Students Office by the Friday of the sixth week of the appropriate quarter. The petition is first reviewed by faculty working in the student’s area of concentration, who then refer the petition to the Committee with their recommendation for action.

The Qualifying Examination

Ph.D. students normally take the qualifying examination within three calendar years of approval from the Committee on Degrees of the course of study petition. (The precise timing is determined by the student in consultation with the adviser and other faculty examiners.) The process of study leading up to the examination provides an opportunity for systematic consideration of the student’s field of professional competence in religious studies, as well as in at least one other related field. The examination itself is intended to demonstrate the student’s general knowledge of the scholarship in these professional fields of competence and also the student’s readiness to pursue a dissertation. The qualifying examination contains both written and oral components. Students register for exams no later than the first week of the quarter in which the exams will be taken. To register, please contact the Assistant Dean of Students no later than the first week of the quarter in which the examinations are to be taken.

The written examinations test the student’s ability to organize, synthesize, and analyze a substantial body of knowledge and reading in response to questions set by the faculty. The student completes four written examinations selected from those offered by the areas of study in the Divinity School. The student will usually complete three examinations in his or her area of concentration and one from another area. Some areas may encourage students to complete two examinations in the area of concentration and two from other areas. Students should consult the respective Area Guidelines, available in the Dean of Students Office, for further details about examinations and oral statement papers.

Each written examination is four hours in length, and students pick up the questions at the Divinity School and return them there. Students may also choose to receive and submit their qualifying exams electronically. (Time will be allowed before and after each exam for pick-up and return. In exceptional cases, space will be provided to write exams in Swift Hall.) The Divinity School faculty regards the optimal length of a student’s answer to any one set of examination questions to be a total of 3,000 to 4,500 words, or ten to fifteen typed, double spaced pages. 

Based on consultation between the student and the student’s advisor, the research paper will ordinarily have as its topic a subject in the student’s intended area of dissertation research, and should indicate the student’s capacity for writing a dissertation. The paper should be twenty-five to forty pages, typed and double-spaced, and should be submitted to all examiners early in (ideally during the first week of) the quarter in which the student plans to take the qualifying examination.

The oral examination tests the student’s ability to engage in discussion of issues relevant to his or her fields of competence. The written examinations, the published bibliographies for the exams the student is taking, and the research paper form the basis of the oral examination.

The student’s advisor for the course of study convenes the oral examination and is specifically responsible for communicating its result to the student at the conclusion of the examination. The Dean of Students writes to each examinee following the oral examination week to communicate formally the result of his or her qualifying examination.

A student who has not completed the qualifying examination within three years of the approval of the course of study must consult with the dean and the dean of students to establish a satisfactory deadline for its completion.

Although bibliographies for individual exams may change from time to time, a student is entitled to take the qualifying examination based on the bibliography in effect when his or her course of study petition is approved by the Committee on Degrees, so long as the student takes the examination within five years of that date. A student who has not taken the qualifying examination within that five-year period will ordinarily use the bibliographies in effect at the time the examination is taken. A student who has not completed the qualifying examination and has been out of residence for a total of five years or more must take the examination in effect at the time of resumption of residency.

To achieve a passing grade on the qualifying examination, a student must normally accomplish the following:

  1. Score B or higher on all written examinations.
  2. Complete the oral examination at a satisfactory level, as determined by the examining committee (this includes production of a satisfactory research document).

In cases where most or all of the written examinations are at the B level, a strong oral examination is necessary in order for the student to pass the qualifying examination. Grades on qualifying examinations are not subject to appeal, and failed qualifying examinations may not be retaken.

Procedures for Writing the Dissertation

Upon completion of the qualifying examination, the student proceeds to the dissertation. Three formal steps organize this process: the dissertation proposal colloquium and subsequent submission of the proposal to the Committee on Degrees, the midpoint review of dissertation research, and the oral defense of the completed dissertation. Throughout the process, the student is responsible for maintaining good contact with the dissertation committee and providing regular updates on progress.

1. The dissertation proposal colloquium, which takes place following completion of the qualifying examination, is a meeting of the student and the dissertation reading committee (normally three members of the faculty—an adviser from the Divinity School faculty and two readers) to review the dissertation proposal. It should be noted that the dissertation adviser may be someone other than the student’s program adviser hitherto. Further details on the dissertation proposal can be found in the “Guidelines of the Committee on Degrees,” available on the Divinity School's website from the PhD information page; https://divinity.uchicago.edu/doctoral-program-phd). During the colloquium the student and the committee should discuss their expectations for their work together, including the timing of reading chapters and the format in which work should be submitted (by email or in hard copy).

When the members of the dissertation reading committee approve the proposal, the student submits the proposal in the form of a formal petition to the Committee on Degrees. Approval of this petition establishes the student as a Ph.D. candidate. A student who has not submitted a dissertation proposal to the Committee on Degrees by the end of the fourth year of residence must consult with the Dean and Dean of Students to establish a satisfactory deadline for submission of the proposal.

 2. The midpoint oral review of dissertation research occurs at a time determined by the student in consultation with the adviser, usually after the student has written two chapters. It provides an opportunity for the student and the reading committee to discuss the work in progress, both to review what has been written and to discuss what needs to be done to complete the dissertation. The adviser should provide written notification of the successful completion of the oral review to the Dean of Students.

3. Students must submit a complete draft of the dissertation to the committee by the middle (5th week) of the quarter before the quarter in which they expect to graduate.  Faculty will return comments to the student by the first day of the next quarter. This will allow the student 5 weeks to complete any necessary revisions and to obtain the committee’s final approval before submitting the final copy to the Dissertation Office in time to graduate that quarter. The oral defense of the dissertation is a requirement that may be waived upon the recommendation of the dissertation committee and the approval of the Dean. Guidelines for formatting, and dates of submission of the final dissertation to the Dissertation Office, can be found online at http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/phd/

The student must complete the dissertation within five calendar years after establishing Ph.D. candidacy, unless further extension is approved by the Committee on Degrees in consultation with the dissertation adviser. Extension of this five-year period will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances.

Guidelines for Progress in Ph.D. Studies

The Divinity School faculty has established a set of guidelines for normal progress through the Ph.D. program, as follows:

  1. Approval of the course of study petition by the end of the first year of full-time residence.
  2. Demonstration of competence in French and German by the end of the second year of full-time residence. This requirement must be successfully completed in order to take doctoral qualifying exams.
  3. Completion of the progress conference, as stipulated by the area of study, normally by the end of the second year or the autumn of the third year of full-time residence. The progress conference must be completed in order to take doctoral qualifying exams. 
  4. Completion of the qualifying examinations, normally by the end of the third year of full-time residence.
  5. Approval of the dissertation proposal by the end of the fourth year of full-time residence.
  6. Completion of the dissertation within five calendar years of approval of the dissertation proposal.
  7. Students entering the Ph.D. program prior to summer quarter 2016, are limited to a maximum 12 years of academic registration, inclusive of any leaves of absence or quarters in pro forma registration.  Students who are admitted to candidacy but have not completed the Ph.D. by the end of the twelfth year will be administratively withdrawn from the University at the conclusion of that period, and will no longer have any privileges associated with active student registration. Such students who wish to ultimately complete the dissertation and graduate with the Ph.D. degree must petition the Committee on Degrees for permission to complete the dissertation.  A timeline approved by the advisor must be submitted.  Such students may graduate in a subsequent quarter, and will be enrolled at the prevailing pro forma tuition. 
  8. Students entering the Ph.D. program effective summer 2016 and following are limited to nine (9) years of academic registration.  Leaves of absence or quarters of pro forma registration, however, are not counted within the 9 year limit.  Students who are admitted to candidacy but have not completed the Ph.D. by the end of the ninth year will be administratively withdrawn from the University at the conclusion of that period, and will no longer have any privileges associated with active student registration. Such students who wish to ultimately complete the dissertation and graduate with the Ph.D. degree must petition the Committee on Degrees for permission to complete the dissertation.  A timeline approved by the advisor must be submitted.  Such students may graduate in a subsequent quarter, and will be enrolled at the prevailing pro forma tuition.

Students should plan their program of study in accordance with these guidelines, consulting as appropriate their faculty advisor and the Dean of Students. A student who anticipates difficulty in meeting one of the guidelines should discuss this with the faculty advisor and the Dean of Students.

The deans, in consultation with faculty in the appropriate area of study, may on rare occasions advise a student to discontinue doctoral studies. Such discussions may occur at various points, including at the second-year progress conference; between approval of the course of study petition and the qualifying examination; or between completion of the qualifying examination and approval of the dissertation proposal.

A student’s Ph.D. studies may be terminated formally by failure to produce a satisfactory course of study petition that is approved by the Committee on Degrees; failure to conduct a satisfactory second-year progress conference;  failure of the qualifying examination; failure to prepare a satisfactory dissertation proposal in an appropriate period of time (by the end of the fourth year of full-time residence); or failure to write a dissertation that is deemed satisfactory by the dissertation committee.

Ministry Programs 

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program is a course of professional study, preparing students for careers in religious leadership, including congregational ministries, university chaplaincy, and spiritual care in hospitals, the military, and other institutional settings. The M.Div. program welcomes students from a wide variety of faith communities, including Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and secular humanist students. In addition to the standard three-year Master of Divinity degree, the Divinity School offers dual-degree programs in cooperation with the University's Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies, the Law School, and the School of Social Service Administration, enabling students to prepare for careers that combine ministry with public policy, law, or social work. Ph.D. students in the Divinity School with an interest in ministry may apply to complete a year of coursework and field work leading to the granting of a certificate in religious leadership.

M.Div. students at the Divinity School access the rich resources for scholarship provided by the entire curriculum of the Divinity School and the many graduate divisions of the University. They are also able to take courses offered by the city's several theological schools, and to engage in training and learning experiences throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Within walking distance of the Divinity School are major theological institutions of the Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Disciples of Christ communions; it is a short commute to similar institutions representing the Unitarian, Episcopal, Methodist, and Evangelical traditions, and the American Islamic College, to name just a few. The city and its environs are home to countless religious communities, professional training centers (hospitals offering Clinical Pastoral Education [CPE] and chaplaincy training programs, counseling centers, etc.), social service centers, community organizations, and political action groups. The M.Div. program encourages students to engage robustly in the practical formation offered by these centers of life and work. International Study Grants enabling M.Div. students to study religious leadership in other global contexts are also available.

The M.Div. and certification programs are planned and supervised by the Committee on Ministry Studies of the Divinity School. The Director of Ministry Studies acts as a general advisor to all students in ministry programs and assists them in establishing an advisory relationship with particular faculty members with whom the specialized components of the student's program are designed. The Director, in conjunction with the Director of Field Education and Community Engagement,  also advises all students in the program on field placement and denominational requirements.

Master of Divinity (M.DIV.)

The M.Div. program seeks to prepare religious and spiritual leaders representative of a variety of faith traditions who are equipped to serve in diverse contexts, and who will continue to learn and grow lifelong in the practice of ministry. To this end, the MDiv curriculum provides a sequence of studies that requires the student to (1) establish a breadth of competence in religious studies; (2) develop a thorough understanding of textual, historical, and theological foundations for ministry; and (3) integrate this classical program of learning with rigorous and reflective practice.

The field education component of the program offers students rich opportunities for practical experience in both congregational settings and alternative forms of ministry. First year students experience selected ministry sites through an introduction to Chicago’s south side neighborhoods during their colloquium, Introduction to Ministry Studies. Second-year students spend one year of supervised field education in a faith community in the Chicago area, chosen by the student in consultation with the field education director and the community’s leaders. This assignment aims to provide broad exposure to the life of a faith community and various practices of ministry. An additional fieldwork component offers the opportunity for students to engage in a unit of hospital chaplaincy, campus ministry, community advocacy, or other specialized training in some aspect of ministry. The fieldwork requirement may be satisfied by working at the site full time for three months or spreading out the work over a longer period for the same number of hours. 

Three exercises in practical theological and spiritual reflection—one in each year of the M.Div. program—provide a common structure for the work of all students in the program. These include: Theology in the Public Square course (taken the first year, taught in winter quarter) along with the Introduction to Ministry Studies (a year-long integration seminar during the first year); the second-year Arts of Ministry sequence with the concurrent year-long Practicum; and the third-year Senior Thesis Seminar culminating in the Senior Ministry Project presentation. 

Theology in the Public Square, taken by all first-year students, analyzes the historical and cultural contexts of particular instances of American religious communities and religious leadership, while in Introduction to Ministry Studies (also known as Colloquium) students identify, examine, and synthesize the components of practical reflection, the core of ministerial practice. Students are encouraged to think about their preparation for leadership as one oriented towards multiple publics: the religious/spiritual community, the academy, and wider society. 

The Arts of Ministry sequence in Ritual and Speaking, Spiritual Care and Counseling, and Community, Leadership and Change offers coursework in the practice of ministry. On the one hand, it relates these perennial features of ministry to the Divinity School’s theological and cultural exploration of religious and spiritual leadership, ritual and practice. On the other hand, it relates this reflective awareness of religious practices to the concrete experiences of the second-year field education settings. 

The Senior Ministry Project consists of a thesis and a public presentation that draw together the student’s work in historical, systematic, and practical theology to arrive at an appropriate and intellectually plausible judgment about some aspect of religious/spiritual thought or practice. The specific balance among historical, systematic, and practical theological resources will vary according to the student’s interests and the faculty advisor with whom she or he works. 

As students engage in these exercises of practical theological reflection and in fieldwork, they are also expected to extend their knowledge base in historical and theological studies with additional courses in the sacred texts and history of their faith tradition. They will also select an upper-level theology course (or a course in the philosophy or thought of the student's tradition) for which they will produce a paper in constructive theology or constructive thought — addressing a central theological, epistemological, or existential question, reckoning with the position of a major thinker, and coming to a critical judgment of the question. M.Div. students are also encouraged to investigate course offerings in other departments of the University which might broaden a student’s cultural competence or deepen the skill set in a particular area of interest. M.Div. students often find the coursework at SSA, the Harris School, the Division of Social Sciences, and the Committee on Human Rights particularly useful. 

Requirements

The M.Div. degree requires registration for three full years of scholastic residence, with the completion of a minimum of  29 courses distributed across the Divinity School’s areas of study. 

These requirements are most often completed during the first year of study:

1.     The masters-level introductory course, “Introduction to the Study of Religion.” (Some students may choose to substitute “Classical Theories of Religion.”)

2.     Theology in the Public Square 

3.     Coursework in the scripture and/or history of the student’s chosen tradition. 

4.     Introduction to Theology  or a comparable course in  philosophy or thought in the student’s chosen tradition 

5.     Participation in the weekly reflection seminar and field experience for first-year students, Introduction to Ministry Studies: Colloquium 

6.     Acquisition of basic skills in a relevant textual language such as Koine Greek,  Biblical Hebrew, Quranic Arabic, Sanskrit, or Tibetan,  followed by a course in scriptural or textual exegesis employing the language

2.     These requirements are most often completed during the second year of study:

1.     The Arts of Ministry: a three quarter sequence including Ritual and Preaching, Spiritual Care and Counseling, and Community, Leadership, and Change

2.     Three quarters of field education in a community or practice, including successful completion of the practicum, Practice of Ministry, which meets weekly across the entire second year

3.     One course, selected in consultation with the instructor and the Director of Ministry Studies, for which the student submits a constructive  paper; to be completed before participation in the Senior Ministry Project seminar.

3.     These requirements are most often completed during the third year of study:

1.     Completion of the Senior Ministry Project, including enrollment in the Senior Thesis Seminar, which meets monthly across the academic year. The project consists of two parts:

1.     A thirty-five page thesis

2.     The oral presentation of the project in an appropriate public forum that includes ministry students, members of the Committee on Ministry Studies, and wider audiences, as appropriate

4.     These requirements may be completed at any time across the three years of M.Div. residence:

1.     At least two history courses in the student’s chosen tradition

2.     At least one course in a religious tradition other than the student’s own. 

3.     An additional unit of approved and supervised fieldwork.

M.Div. students may take up to four courses at Chicago-area theological schools, ordinarily for purposes of meeting ordination requirements. Each course must be approved in advance by the Director of Ministry Studies and the Dean of Students in the Divinity School. In special circumstances, with the approval of the Director and the Committee on Ministry Studies, students may take up to two additional courses in these schools.

All M.Div. students are expected to maintain a grade average of at least B-. A student whose grade average falls below B- may be placed on academic probation or asked by the Committee on Ministry Studies to terminate his or her program of study. Students are advised to avoid the accumulation of incompletes on their transcript. Students who have three or more incomplete courses on their transcripts may be restricted from registration until progress is made towards resolving incomplete work.

Financial Aid

The Divinity School makes every effort to relieve a significant part of the financial burden involved in preparation for ministry. M.Div. students qualify for various forms of Divinity School financial assistance. These include:

1.     Entering Fellowships in Ministry Studies.

2.     Tuition scholarships that pay from half to full tuition. These awards are based on academic merit; they are also renewable.

3.     Field education stipends of $2,000 per quarter to all second-year M.Div. students participating in the Arts of Ministry sequence while serving a local congregation.

4.     Fieldwork stipends of $1,500 to support the completion of the fieldwork placement. When such placement requires a registration fee (e.g., for Clinical Pastoral Education), the Divinity School subsidizes such a charge up to $500.

Certification in Ministerial Studies for PH.D. Students

The program of Certification in Ministerial Studies is intended for students whose ultimate educational and professional goals require scholarly attainment in one of the fields of religious studies, and who desire as well the professional educational qualifications for religious leadership. A sequence that is pursued during one full year of a student’s Ph.D. program, the certification program includes requirements in field education, arts of ministry, and major papers in religious thought, religious community, and a particular issue in religious life or leadership. To enter the program, a student must have the consent of his or her academic adviser and the Director of Ministry Studies, and submit a petition to the Committee on Degrees in the winter quarter prior to the desired certification year. Before receiving the certification, the student must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree, including the dissertation. In general, the certification program will add one full year to the normal student career. The requirements for the Certification in Religious Leadership are as follows:

1.     Completion of nine approved courses. The student is required to take the three-quarter sequence in the Arts of Ministry in the autumn, winter, and spring quarters.

2.     Completion of three quarters of congregation-based fieldwork,  and the Field Education Practicum.

3.     Submission of three papers on religious leadership to an examining committee. One paper must be an exposition of foundational theological or philosophical resources on which the student draws in conceptualizing and performing spiritual leadership. A second paper must develop a normative understanding of religious community in relation to the foundational position. At third paper must explore a problematic context within which the religious community exists and its work is performed. This paper may focus upon the personal, societal, or cultural dimensions of a problem. The student should select courses in addition to those in the Arts of Ministry sequence to assist in the preparation of these three papers.

4.     Successful completion of an oral examination based on the above three papers. The oral examination will be conducted by a committee of at least four faculty members, including a chairperson. The examining committee may recommend additional requirements to be fulfilled by the student before awarding the Certification in Religious Leadership.

5.     The Certification in Religious Leadership is conferred upon successful completion of the above program and the successful completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree, including the dissertation. In no case will the Certification in Religious Leadership be given to a student who fails to complete all requirements of the Ph.D. program.

Dual Degree Programs

The Divinity School offers dual degree programs with the School of Social Service Administration and the Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies. These programs serve students who wish to combine education for ministry with training for social work or expertise in public policy. In addition to making these pursuits formally possible at the University, the dual degree programs allow students to complete a M.Div. and an A.M. in social work or public policy in four years, rather than five if the two degrees are pursued separately. Students in the dual degree programs register for eight quarters in the Divinity School and four quarters in the cooperating school. The recommended arrangement is the completion of two years (six quarters) at the Divinity School, followed by one year and one quarter (four quarters) at the SSA or Harris School, followed by two final quarters at the Divinity School. Students enrolled in a dual program complete all of the ordinary requirements for the M.Div., but need take only twenty four courses for the degree with SSA, or twenty-two courses for the degree with the Harris School, rather than twenty-eight.

The Divinity School and the Law School also offer dual degree programs for students whose professional plans require training both in religion and in law. Students may apply to do a dual A.M.R.S./J.D., A.M./J.D., M.Div./J.D., or Ph.D./J.D. For more information about these programs, please contact the Dean of Students Office.

Application 

Applicants must gain acceptance to both schools to enroll in a dual degree program. Normally, the prospective student will apply to both schools prior to matriculation, and indicate on each application his or her intent to pursue the dual degree. First-year M.Div. students may, however, make application during that year to the relevant A.M. program and enter the dual degree program upon acceptance by the SSA or the Harris School. At each school, offers of admission are for the fall quarter. Admission to one program is advantageous, but does not guarantee admission to the other; be advised that these programs have admission limits and so it is important to apply to SSA or Harris School at least a year before you intend to begin there.

Financial Aid

Students enrolled in the dual degree program are eligible for financial assistance from the institution at which they are registering, that is, for eight quarters of assistance from the Divinity School and four quarters from the SSA or Harris School. The financial aid policies of the three schools differ significantly, and students should anticipate that tuition charges and financial assistance will vary depending on where they are registered for a particular quarter. Registration Students in the dual degree program register for a total of eight quarters at the Divinity School and four quarters at the SSA or the Harris School. As mentioned above, the recommended sequence is for the student to spend the first two years (six quarters) at the Divinity School, the 26 third year (three quarters) and the first quarter (fall) of the fourth year at the at the SSA or Harris School, and the final two quarters (winter and spring) at the Divinity School. This arrangement has the greatest potential to ensure that the student will participate fully in each program. It is essential that the student devote a full academic year to the required curriculum of the SSA or the Harris School, and, given the collegial nature of the program, it is best for ministry students to complete the first two years of the M.Div. in the company of their entering class. This sequence also has administrative advantages. Each school counts quarters of registration as a requirement for the degree, so the student must be registered for the required number of quarters at the respective school. It is also least disruptive to the student’s registration and financial arrangements (for example, for loans and work/study eligibility) to minimize the number of times that the student officially transfers from one school to another.

Field Work (SSA dual degree only)

The M.Div. from the Divinity School and the A.M. from the School of Social Service Administration each require students to complete two field education components. For the Divinity School, these requirements are (a) the field education internship (the second-year placement in a local congregation under the supervision of a Ministry Supervisor and the Director of Field Education and Community Engagement) and (b) another unit of field work (a more focused field experience, usually completed after the field education internship). The SSA requires two year-long field work assignments. Students in the dual degree program must meet the field education requirements of both schools, but are usually able to arrange for the second year-long field work requirement at the SSA to fulfill the second field work requirement of the Divinity School as well. They are thus able to complete the field education requirements for both degrees with three field placements, rather than the four that would be necessary if the degrees were completed separately. This arrangement is subject to the approval of the Director of Ministry Studies at the Divinity School. Approval should be secured before beginning the second year-long assignment for the SSA.

Curriculum and Integration

The dual degree programs have much to recommend them, but they do not provide the student with as much latitude in arranging his or her curriculum as would be the case if the student were pursuing the degrees separately. Particularly in the fourth year, when completing the second year of study at the SSA or the Harris School, the Senior Ministry Thesis, and culminating coursework at the Divinity School, students can experience conflicts in scheduling that, while inevitable, nonetheless frustrate good intentions. It is wise for students to aim to complete a substantial portion of the coursework required for the M.Div. during the first two years at the Divinity School. We encourage students to use the Senior Ministry Thesis as a way to formally synthesize their work in the two programs. It is highly recommended that students retain coadvisers, one from the Divinity School, and one from the SSA or Harris School, to assist them in a Senior Ministry Thesis that will facilitate this integration.

Divinity - Anthropology and Socioloy of Religion Courses

AASR 32900. Classical Theories of Religion. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Christian Wedemeyer     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 32900,ANTH 35005

AASR 34410. Anthropology of Religion I. 100 Units.

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. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 34410,ANTH 35031

AASR 40302. Islam and Modern Science. 100 Units.

Since the nineteenth century, the rise of the modern empirical sciences has provided both challenges and opportunities for Muslim-majority societies. In this seminar, we examine the epistemological, institutional, and biopolitical transformations that have come about in these societies through encounters with a range of natural and social scientific disciplines (astronomy, medicine, psychology, psychical research, psychoanalysis, eugenics, economics, sociology, anthropology, and others). Readings are from anthropology, history, and science studies.

Instructor(s): Alireza Doostdar     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ISLM 40302,KNOW 40302

AASR 42214. Transnational Religious Movements. 100 Units.

This course examines the transnational reach of various religious movements drawing mainly from literature in anthropology, sociology and cultural studies.  Topics that will be considered include migration and refugees, social movements, diasporic nationalism and financial capitalism.

Instructor(s): Angie Heo     Terms Offered: Winter

AASR 42410. Material Religion. 100 Units.

This course examines approaches to the material study of religion.  What are the gains of studying religion through bodily practices and sensory perceptions?  How have various scholarly disciplines examined ritual art, objects, things and the organization of space and time?  What analytic directions for understanding the social life of religion has a materialist orientation enabled?  The course will include readings on mediation, technology and public culture.  

Instructor(s): Angie Heo     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RLIT 42410

AASR 42802. Ehtnographies of the Muslim World. 100 Units.

An examination of contemporary theoretical issues in the anthropology of Islam through close readings of recent ethnographic monographs. Topics may include ethical self-formation, state-making, embodiment and the senses, therapeutic spiritualities, indeterminacy and religious aspiration, and globalization.

Instructor(s): Alireza Doostdar     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Class limit to 15 students
Equivalent Course(s): ISLM 42802,ANTH 55030

AASR 42907. Contemporary Theories of Religion. 100 Units.

This course will explore developments in the study of religion from the Marburg Declaration of 1960 to the present. Participants will attend to the recent history of the field, intellectually and institutionally; to the analysis of select theoretical developments in this period, their prospects, accomplishments, and challenges; to the relationships between the History of Religions and work on religion in related fields of study (e.g., anthropology, sociology, history); and to the social location(s) of the study of religion in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Instructor(s): Christian Wedemeyer     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Must have taken “Classical Theories of Religion” HREL 32900/AASR 32900/ANTH 35005
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 42907

AASR 43005. Is Modernity Disenchanted? 100 Units.

One of the dominant topoi in twentieth-century social science was what Max Weber famously called the "disenchantment of the world," the idea that with industrialization, the entrenchment of capitalism, the dominance of the modern bureaucratic state, and the rise of modern science, religion and "magicality" would gradually wither away. This course examines such arguments in relation to the pervasive evidence that magicality persists around precisely those sites most intimately associated with modernity's rationality and progress: the market, science and technology, and the state. Readings will be from anthropology, history, religious studies, and social theory. 

Instructor(s): Alireza Doostdar     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Class limit to 15 students
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 43005

AASR 50207. Christianity and Korea. 100 Units.

Selected readings on the topics pertaining to the joint study of Christianity and of Korea. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 50207

AASR 52808. Sovereignty, Intimacy, and the Body. 100 Units.

A close exploration of relationships between state power and everyday forms of embodied sociality, ethics, and intimacy. Readings will include selections from some or all of the following authors: Asad, Berlant, Foucault, Kantorowicz, Santner, Siegel, and various ethnographies. 

Instructor(s): Alireza Doostdar     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor, and at least 1 previous course in ANTH or AASR
Note(s): Class limit to 10 students
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 52808

AASR 57715. Brauer Seminar: Gender and Sexuality in the Study of Religion. 100 Units.

Our seminar is a team-taught, interdisciplinary graduate level course focusing on gender and sexuality in the study of religion.  Our aim is to provide theoretical concepts, tools and methods for students to analyze gender and sexuality across a variety of religious traditions, historical periods and literary genres.  Divided into three parts – philosophy and psychoanalysis, anthropology and ethics, the course proceeds according to the areas of specialty offered by participating faculty members.  Topics covered include the following:  structuralist and poststructuralist approaches to sexual difference, political economy of sex, performativity theory, sociology of labor, race, sex and empire. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo, Sarah Hammerschlag, Sarah Fredericks     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 57715,RLVC 57715,RETH 57715

Divinity - Biblical Studies Courses

BIBL 30800. Jewish Thought and Literature I: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): J. Stackert     Terms Offered: Autumn

BIBL 31300. Tragedy. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to Aeschylean drama, seen through the special problems posed by one play, Prometheus Bound. Lectures and discussions are concerned with the play, the development and early form of Attic drama, and philosophical material. Modern Aeschylean scholars are also read and discussed.

Instructor(s): E. Asmis     Terms Offered: Autumn. Not offered 2017-18
Prerequisite(s): GREK 20300 or equivalent
Equivalent Course(s): GREK 31300,GREK 21300

BIBL 31400. Jewish History and Society I. 100 Units.

The Archaeology of Israel: History, Society, Politics The course will offer a historical and critical perspective on 150 years of archaeology in Israel/Palestine, beginning with the first scientific endeavors of the 19th century and covering British Mandate and pre-state Jewish scholarship, as well as developments in the archaeology of Israel since 1948. I will devote particular attention to the mutual construction of archaeological interpretation and Israeli identity and to the contested role of archaeology in the public sphere both within Israeli society and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The course will conclude with a discussion of the plausibility and possible content of an indigenous post-conflict archaeology in Israel and Palestine, based on 21st century paradigm shifts in archaeological discourse and field work.

Instructor(s): R. Greenberg     Terms Offered: Spring

BIBL 32602. Introduction to the New Testament. 100 Units.

This is an introductory course to the history and literature of the New Testament. Our primary focus will be to read select texts of the New Testament, with an emphasis on their literary nature, their historical problems and sources, their theological visions, and their historical, geographic, social, religious, political, and cultural contexts in early Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds. One will have the opportunity to situate one's questions about and approaches to these texts in light of the history of scholarly research and through critical reflection about the methods and goals of interpretation. Discussions groups will meet on Fridays.

Instructor(s): Margaret Mitchell     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 12602,FNDL 28205

BIBL 32700. Law in Biblical Literature. 100 Units.

The course will survey topics of biblical law, recover biblical legal reasoning, compare biblical law with comparable ancient Near Eastern records and literature, reconsider the nature of biblical legal composition, interpret biblical legal passages within their larger compositions as pieces of literature, analyze several non-legal biblical texts for the legal interpretation embedded in them, and engage modern scholarship on all these aspects. In addition to preparing to discuss assigned biblical texts, students will also work towards composing an original piece of sustained analysis submitted at quarter’s end.

Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew I-III + 1 text course

BIBL 33900. Introductory Biblical Hebrew I. 100 Units.

This course is the first of a two-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to the language of biblical Hebrew, with special emphasis on the fundamentals of its morphology, syntax, and vocabulary. The course follows a standard textbook supplemented by lectures, exercises, and oral drills aimed at refining the student’s grasp of grammatically sound interpretation and translation. At the conclusion of the two-quarter sequence students will be prepared to take a biblical Hebrew reading course in the spring quarter.

Instructor(s): Richard Zaleski     Terms Offered: Autumn

BIBL 34000. Introductory Biblical Hebrew 2. 100 Units.

This course is the second of a two-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to the language of biblical Hebrew, with special emphasis on the fundamentals of its morphology, syntax, and vocabulary. The course follows a standard textbook supplemented by lectures, exercises, and oral drills aimed at refining the student’s grasp of grammatically sound interpretation and translation. At the conclusion of the two-quarter sequence students will be prepared to take a biblical Hebrew reading course in the spring quarter.

,

PQ:  Must have taken BIBL 33900 in Autumn quarter

Instructor(s): Richard Zaleski     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIBL 33900 in Autumn Quarter.

BIBL 34210. Jonah and Joel (Biblical Hebrew III) 100 Units.

A classic text-course covering prose narrative and poetic prophecy, attends to grammar, semantics, genre, and history.

Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew I-II

BIBL 34601. Prophecy in Ancient Israel. 100 Units.

This course examines the idea, practice, and literature of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible and contextualizes these issues by comparing biblical prophecy with its ancient Near Eastern analogues.  Students will read and analyze biblical and extra-biblical prophetic texts as well as other texts related to prophecy in order to understand the purposes of ancient Near Eastern prophecy as well as the practices of the prophets themselves (such as analogical ritual performance, divination, and magic).  The issues of the preservation of prophetic literature as well as the cessation of prophecy in ancient Israel will also be explored.

Instructor(s): Jeffrey Stackert
Prerequisite(s): A critical Introduction to teh Hebrew Bible (all biblical texts will be read in English).

BIBL 35100. Introductory Koine Greek I. 100 Units.

In this two-course sequence, students will learn the basic mechanics of Koine Greek and begin reading texts from the Greek New Testament and Septuagint. The autumn course and the first three-fourths or so of the winter course will introduce the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and style of the Greek New Testament, and to a limited degree those of the Septuagint, after which point we will focus on reading and interpreting a New Testament document in Greek at length. Upon the conclusion of the sequence, students will be able to read and comprehend entire passages of Koine Greek text with the aid of a dictionary. This sequence aims to prepare students to successfully participate in a Greek exegesis course.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): All students who enroll in these courses must be able to attend all class sessions and be in a position to devote themselves entirely to language study for the three-week period, both during the day and in night-time study. Previous language study is not required.

BIBL 35300. Introductory Koine Greek 2. 100 Units.

In this two-course sequence, students will learn the basic mechanics of Koine Greek and begin reading texts from the Greek New Testament and Septuagint. The autumn course and the first three-fourths or so of the winter course will introduce the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and style of the Greek New Testament, and to a limited degree those of the Septuagint, after which point we will focus on reading and interpreting a New Testament document in Greek at length. Upon the conclusion of the sequence, students will be able to read and comprehend entire passages of Koine Greek text with the aid of a dictionary. This sequence aims to prepare students to successfully participate in a Greek exegesis course in Spring 2017 or thereafter.

Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Must have taken BIBL 35100 in Autumn quarter.

BIBL 36010. The Book of Psalms (Biblical Hebrew III) 100 Units.

Text-course covering select psalms for their varied voice, topics, prosody, poetics, and religious ideas.

Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew I-II

BIBL 37303. The Four-fold: Studies in Jewish Exegesis. 100 Units.

This course will focus on the emergence of the four-fold method of Jewish Bible interpretation in the medieval period (known as PaRDes), in light of internal Jewish features since and antiquity and comparative Christian exegesis.  Particular attention will be placed on the work of the great medieval Spanish commentator Rabbi Bahya ben Asher (13th century).  Consideration of modern adaptations of this method will be taken up at the end (notably, in M. Fishbane’s commentary on the Song of Songs and in his theological writings).

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of Hebrew required, but English translation will be provided.
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 37303

BIBL 41000. Amos. 100 Units.

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

Instructor(s): Jeffrey Stackert     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew

BIBL 41508. I & II Chronicles. 100 Units.

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

Instructor(s): Jeffrey Stackert     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew

BIBL 42010. Ancient Sexualities and Early Christianity. 100 Units.

We will study ancient Greek and Roman and early Jewish and Christian attitudes toward sex and constructions of sexuality, especially homosexuality and lesbianism, as well as sexuality as it relates to gender, prostitution, marriage, and virginity. We will closely examine and discuss many of the most important primary sources for these issues from the non-Christian world, including texts by Aeschenes, Plato, Lucian, Plutarch, Ovid, Juvenal, Martial, Musonius Rufus, and Philo. In light of these texts we will then focus on analyzing several Christian primary sources, including parts of Paul's epistles, the Gospel of John, and selections from Clement of Alexandria and John Chrysostom.  As we work our way through the primary sources we will study the first two volumes of Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality.  We will have the opportunity to think about Foucault's revolutionary complication of the whole notion of "sexuality" as it relates to conceptions of desire, pleasure, and the self as we interpret and analyze several of the primary sources with which Foucault himself worked.  We will also have the opportunity to assess the scholarship of several leading scholars in this area, including the work of Arnold Davidson, K.J. Dover, David Halperin, Martha Nussbaum, Craig Williams, Daniel Boyarin, Bernadette Brooten, and Dale Martin.

Instructor(s): Jeff Jay     Terms Offered: Autumn

BIBL 42210. The Gospel of John. 100 Units.

This is an exegesis course on the Gospel of John, which we will read in its entirety in Greek in conversation with select scholarship and commentators.  In addition to philological analysis, we will forefront narrative criticism as a methodological lens for interpreting John as a story with close attention to the narrative functions of the narrator, settings, plot, characters, audience, irony, and metaphor.

Instructor(s): Jeff Jay     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Greek; Introductory Koine Greek in the Divinity School, or equivalent.

BIBL 42610. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. 100 Units.

Introduces the materials, tools, methods, and ideas connected with the world of manuscript differences in the Hebrew Bible. Engages the Dead Sea scrolls, the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. Examples range across the Hebrew Bible.

Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew and Greek
Equivalent Course(s): NELC 30061

BIBL 42906. The Book of Ezekiel. 100 Units.

The course will focus on a selection of passages and attend to: the frame and self-situating of the book; its mood, message and religious ideas; comparable material, “prophetic” and other, in the Hebrew Bible and outside it; early Jewish reception; and modern scholarship.

Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew I-III + text course

BIBL 43100. Interpreting The Gospel According to Matthew. 100 Units.

An exegesis course on "the church's gospel," which will seek to create a constructive conversation between modern redaction-critical readings of Matthew as a document forged in heated interaction with a specific historical context (particularly defined by the inter-/intra-Jewish polemics and the emergence of the "ekklesia" as distinct from the synagogue) and the history of interpretation and effects of this gospel in the ancient church and up to the present, including film. Each student will select an interpreter or interpretation--ancient, medieval, modern, post-modern--to impersonate in class discussions.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIBL32500 (Introduction to the New Testament) or equivalent. There are no language prerequisites, but there will be ample opportunity to exercise skills in Koine Greek and other languages of interpretation.
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 33200,NTEC 53500

BIBL 43200. Colloquium: Ancient Christianity. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): 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.
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 43200

BIBL 43502. Ignatius of Antioch. 100 Units.

We will closely read in Greek the letters of Ignatius of Antioch, with special attention to questions of authenticity and date, his rhetoric in the context of the Second Sophistic, his theology of suffering and martyrdom, as well as his general importance as a source for understanding early Christian history, theology, and interpretation.  

Instructor(s): Jeff Jay     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Intermediate Greek skills (Koine)

BIBL 43600. The Pastoral Epistles. 100 Units.

A Greek exegesis course on three short letters addressed to Paul’s trusted envoys (1 and 2 Timothy; Titus), which will focus on the following questions: the nature, significance, dynamics and authority of Pauline pseudepigraphy; the forms of ethical argumentation in these letters and their relation to Hellenistic philosophy; the social history of Greco-Roman households and their role in early Christian formation; historical reconstruction of the roles of women in the Paulinist communities addressed by these letters (including a reading of the later work, The Acts of Paul and Thecla, which may represent the viewpoint the author is attacking), and the history of interpretation and outsize influence of this small body of texts on Christian thought and practice, down to the present.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Greek skills (Koine and/or Attic)

BIBL 43804. Deuteronomy 1-4: Composition, Redaction, Textual Transmission. 100 Units.

This course will examine the complex compositional and textual history of Deuteronomy 1–4. We will consider the role these chapters play in the pentateuchal Deuteronomic source, their relationship with corresponding texts in Exodus and Numbers, and the relevance of the ancient witnesses for understanding their composition and redaction.

Instructor(s): Jeffrey Stackert     Terms Offered: Autumn

BIBL 44003. Philo of Alexandria. 100 Units.

In this course we will read the Greek text of Philo's de opificio mundi, with other brief excerpts here and there in the Philonic corpus. Our aim will be to use this treatise to elucidate the thought and character of one of the most prolific theological writers of the first century. We will seek to understand Philo as a Greek author and the nature and origins of his style, Philo as a proponent of Platonism, and Philo as a Jew in the context of Alexandrian Judaism. We will also examine his use of the allegorical method as an exegetical tool, and its implications for pagan, Jewish and early Christian approaches to sacred texts.

Instructor(s): David Martinez     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): At least two years of Greek.
Equivalent Course(s): GREK 35117,GREK 25117

BIBL 45100. Innerbiblical Exegesis. 100 Units.

This course will explore the phenomenon of literary revision in the Hebrew Bible and, to a limited extent, its precursors and successor texts. In addition to analyzing various examples of innerbiblical exegesis, we will consider the theoretical issues related to literary revision, including the question of criteria for determining literary dependence and direction of dependence and the intents of texts that reuse source material.

Instructor(s): Jeffrey Stackert     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Strong Biblical Hebrew

BIBL 45602. Giving and Receiving. 100 Units.

Emphasis will be on care of the indigent. The focus will be textual (classical biblical and rabbinic sources, also some medieval legal codes), but will include comparative issues drawn from anthropology. The larger concern of this course will be on theological matters.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Texts in Hebrew with English Translations
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 45600

BIBL 51800. Exegesis Seminar: 2 Corinthians. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Intermediate Greek skills (Koine)

BIBL 52100. Galatians and James: Traditions in Conflict? 100 Units.

which use suspiciously similar vocabulary and even invoke the same exemplum (Abraham) to debate this religious question. First we shall study the historical context, religious world-view, rhetorical purpose and theology of each document on its own terms, and then test various theories of their literary and historical relationships with one another, while simultaneously engaging κατὰ πρόσωπον with the long and intertwined history of reception of both. Ongoing discussion of the nature, purpose, meaning and challenges of a biblical canon, its authority and negotiability in Christian traditions of thought and practice over time.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Greek skills (Koine)
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 52100

BIBL 53500. Early Christian Biblical Interpretation. 100 Units.

This year the Early Christian Biblical Interpretation seminar will focus on two caches of untranslated Greek homiletic texts: the Greek homilies on the Psalms by Origen of Alexandria (discovered in 2012, published in a critical edition in 2015), and homilies by John Chrysostom on “problem passages” in the Pauline epistles.  Reading Origen and Chrysostom alongside one another will allow us to test the accuracy of the traditional divide between “Alexandrine allegory” and “Antiochene literalism,” while also focusing on the various ways that each employs the traditional school form of problemata kai lyseis (“problems and solutions”) in his interpretive work and its rhetorical presentation.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Advanced Greek skills (Attic and Koine)
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 53500

BIBL 53510. Early Jewish Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. 100 Units.

Explores Jewish iseas and hermeneutics at Exodus 19-20 and select other biblical texts, in sources from the Septuagint and Dead Sea scrolls through Targumim and Rabbinic literature to Medieval Jewish commentaries.

Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew; Biblical Greek or Aramaic; Professor Approval
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 53510,NELC 30060

BIBL 55110. Sources of the Pentateuch. 100 Units.

Seminar for hands-on experience in identifying, “separating,” and interpreting sources within the Pentateuch (and Joshua) through varied examples.

Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew and Greek
Equivalent Course(s): NELC 30063

Divinity - Committee on the Ministry Courses

CHRM 30200. The Public Church in America. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

CHRM 30500. Colloquium: Introduction to the Study of Ministry. 100 Units.

This year-long integration seminar grounds first year M.Div. 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

Instructor(s): Cynthia Lindner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): First year M.Div. students only.

CHRM 32500. Theology in the Public Square. 100 Units.

This course examines the religious thought of religious leaders such as Dorothy Day, Thich Nhat Hanh, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Reinhold Niebuhr in conversation with each other and as resources for American public life today.

Instructor(s): Kristine Culp     Terms Offered: Winter

CHRM 35102. Arts of Ministry: Ritual, Worship, Preaching and Teaching. 100 Units.

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 MDIV students and complements their work in field education. In this course, students have the opportunity to visit and observe religious practice in several religious communities, as they are reading ritual theory and researching their own traditions' practices.  Weekly "practice labs" offer students the opportunity to practice speaking to and on behalf of religious communities, instruct students on ritual performance, and invite students to engage their classmates in a life cycle ritual of their own construction.

Instructor(s): Cynthia Lindner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Second year M.Div students, or by permission from instructor.

CHRM 35202. Arts of Ministry: Spiritual Care and Counseling. 100 Units.

This course is the second 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 work in field education. In this course, students explore and practice the requisite skills for spiritual care and counseling in congregations, hospitals, university chaplaincies and other settings. Participants will interrogate human experience through several lenses, including theological and philosophical anthropologies, family systems theory, and relational and self-psychologies, with special attention to theories of race, ethnicity and gender. Practice labs will help students hone listening skills and narrative therapies, diagnosis and referrals, and healing rituals.

Instructor(s): Cynthia Lindner     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Second year M.Div. students, or by permission of instructor

CHRM 35300. Arts of Ministry: Community Leadership and Change. 100 Units.

This course is the third 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. In this final quarter of the year-long sequence, students study congregations as "communities-within-communities," examining the public life of congregations and their leaders as responsible agents of change, both within the religious community and in the wider context. Through research projects and case studies, students practice the skills of analysis, decision-making, negotiation and visioning that are essential to organizational vitality and constructive community engagement.

Instructor(s): Cynthia Lindner     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Second year M.Div. students or by permission of instructor

CHRM 35500. Arts of Ministry: Worship. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

CHRM 35600. Arts of Ministry: Preaching. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

CHRM 35700. Arts Of Ministry: Pastoral Care. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

CHRM 36000. Advanced Preaching Seminar. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

CHRM 36700. Adv Sem In Pastoral Care. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

CHRM 40600. Practice of Ministry I. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

Instructor(s): Wesley Sun     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open to Second Year M.Div students only.

CHRM 40700. Practice of Ministry II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Wesley Sun     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Do not register for this course.

CHRM 40800. Practice of Ministry III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Wesley Sun     Terms Offered: Spring

CHRM 41300. Nature in The Church. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

CHRM 42500. Sem: Senior Ministry Project. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

CHRM 42800. Senior Ministry Thesis Seminar. 100 Units.

Required seminar for M.Div. students in the year in which they are writing and presenting their theses.

Instructor(s): Cynthia Lindner     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Third or Fourth year M.Div. students only

CHRM 43000. Dying in the Modern World. 50 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

Equivalent Course(s): PEDS 43000

CHRM 50400. Advanced Seminar in Spiritual Care: Death and Dying. 100 Units.

This elective seminar offers students the opportunity to study the complex relationship between spirituality and physical and mental health.  The course will include guest speakers from a variety of professions, visits, case studies, and the opportunity for students to present their own research in some aspect of spiritual practice and health care.

Instructor(s): Cynthia Lindner     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Arts of Ministry: Spiritual Care and Counselling or by permission of instructor.

Divinity - History of Christianity Courses

HCHR 30200. History Christian Thought-2. 100 Units.

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 analyzed 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.

Instructor(s): Willemien Otten     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 31902,THEO 30200

HCHR 30300. History of Christian Thought III. 100 Units.

This course covers the early modern era from the 14th through the 16th century. The emphasis is on intellectual history, particularly that of the reformation and the Council of Trent. The course includes readings from 14th century mystics and late-medieval dissidents such as John Hus, Luther, Zwingli and Calvin, as well as Ignatius of Loyola and the Council of Trent.

Instructor(s): Susan Schreiner     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 30300

HCHR 30400. History of Christian Thought- IV. 100 Units.

A survey of major figures and movements in European Christian thought from the late 17th through the 18th centuries.

Instructor(s): Ryan Coyne
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 30400

HCHR 30601. Introduction to Coptic. 100 Units.

This course introduces the last native language of Egypt, which was in common use during the late Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods (fourth to tenth centuries CE). Grammar and vocabulary of the standard Sahidic dialect are presented in preparation for reading biblical, monastic, and Gnostic literature, as well as a variety of historical and social documents.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Second-year standing required; knowledge of earlier Egyptian language phases or Classical Greek or Koine Greek helpful but not required
Equivalent Course(s): EGPT 10201

HCHR 30602. Coptic Texts. 100 Units.

This course builds on the basics of grammar learned in EGPT 10201 and provides readings in a variety of Coptic texts (e.g., monastic texts, biblical excerpts, tales, Gnostic literature).

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): EGPT 10201
Equivalent Course(s): EGPT 10202

HCHR 30700. History of Christianity, 1600-1900. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): W.Clark Gilpin

HCHR 30900. History of Christian Thought V: Modern Religious Thought. 100 Units.

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

Instructor(s): Kevin Hector     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 30700

HCHR 31000. History Of Christian Thought-VI Contemporary. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

HCHR 32302. Byzantium: Art, Religion, Culture I. 100 Units.

In this introductory seminar we will explore works of art and architecture as primary sources for Byzantine civilization. Through the close investigation of artifacts of different media and techniques, students will gain insight into the artistic production of the Byzantine Empire from its foundation in the 4th century A.D. to the Ottoman conquest in 1453. We will employ different methodological approaches and resources that are relevant for the fruitful investigation of artifacts in their respective cultural setting. In order to fully assess the pivotal importance of the visual arts in Byzantine culture, we will address a wide array of topics, including art and ritual, patronage, the interrelation of art and text, classical heritage, art and theology, Iconoclasm, etc. 

Instructor(s): K. Krause     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 28310,RLVC 32302,ARTH 32302,ARTH 23202

HCHR 33000. Religion and the American Civil Rights Movement. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, though some attention is focused on the emergence and the consequences of this period. We move from the moral and religious assault on Jim Crow segregation to religious opposition to racial and political inequality in American society. Although emphasis will be placed on religious protest against racial oppression and inequality, we also linger on religious support for segregation and racial injustice. Rather than a straightforward narrative of progress, the course will seek to understand how competing visions for racial justice and opposition to such visions came together in the aftermath of the height of Civil Rights activism.

Instructor(s): Curtis Evans     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RAME 33000

HCHR 33200. Interpreting The Gospel According to Matthew. 100 Units.

An exegesis course on "the church's gospel," which will seek to create a constructive conversation between modern redaction-critical readings of Matthew as a document forged in heated interaction with a specific historical context (particularly defined by the inter-/intra-Jewish polemics and the emergence of the "ekklesia" as distinct from the synagogue) and the history of interpretation and effects of this gospel in the ancient church and up to the present, including film. Each student will select an interpreter or interpretation--ancient, medieval, modern, post-modern--to impersonate in class discussions.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIBL32500 (Introduction to the New Testament) or equivalent. There are no language prerequisites, but there will be ample opportunity to exercise skills in Koine Greek and other languages of interpretation.
Equivalent Course(s): NTEC 53500,BIBL 43100

HCHR 34900. The Age of Walter Rauschenbusch: History & Historiography. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Curtis Evans     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RAME 34900

HCHR 39402. Race and Religion in 20th Century America. 100 Units.

This course examines how religion has been shaped, constructed, and formed in response to and in the context of changing racial realities in America in the 20th century. Most of our emphasis will be attuned to the central black/white divide and Christian communities, though you are encouraged to write your final paper on a topic of your choosing that does not fit into any of these categories.

Instructor(s): Curtis Evans     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RAME 39402

HCHR 40608. Becoming Modern: Religion in America in the 1920s. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Curtis Evans     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RAME 40608

HCHR 41401. Gender, Power, and Religion in Early Medieval Europe(800-1100) 100 Units.

This course will examine the intersection of religious and secular power and the way these were reflected in and shaped by the gender systems of early medieval Europe. Topics to be studied include Kantorowicz's notion of "the king's two bodies," royal men and women, women and memorial culture, lineage and gender, marriage, and monastic culture. We will examine the Carolingian world and its aftermath, Ottonian Germany, Anglo-Saxon England, Hungary, and the early Spanish kingdoms.

Instructor(s): Lucy Pick     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 42701,GNDR 41400

HCHR 42901. Christianity and Slavery in America, 1619-1865. 100 Units.

This course examines the history of Christian thought and practice regarding slavery in the United States. Particular attention is paid to Christian missions to slaves, debates about the abolition of slavery, the pro-slavery Christian defense, and the practice and evolution of slave religion.

Instructor(s): Curtis Evans     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RAME 42901

HCHR 42999. The Religious Thought of Emerson and W. James. 100 Units.

This seminar focuses on late nineteenth-century American religious thought, centering on R.W. Emerson and William James, to see how their thought can be used productively today in light of contemporary constructive theological pressures. The theme will be on the interplay of nature and human nature, both in Emerson’s view of nature, moral perfectionism and religion, and in James’ view of religion. The work of Stanley Cavell (for Emerson) and Charles Taylor (on W. James) among others will help guide our discussions.

Instructor(s): Willemien Otten     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 66208

HCHR 43101. The Catholic Reformation. 100 Units.

This course analyzes early modern Catholicism and covers the years from 1400-1600.  The readings include treatises on the nature of the church, the role of dissent, the polemics against the Protestants, and the spirituality of this era.  The requirement for the course is a take-home examination.

Instructor(s): Susan Schreiner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 43101

HCHR 43107. Early Christian Art. 100 Units.

This course will focus on the visual arts as ubiquitous, understanding them as an essential part of early Christian culture and identity.  Close attention will be paid throughout to interdisciplinary scholarly methods that have been developed in order to approach early Christian art within the larger framework of late antique culture and to decode the symbolism that characterizes it.  Some sample questions we are going to discuss include: What do the earliest Christian images in the catacombs and on sarcophagi convey about the hopes and fears of those who commissioned them?  In which ways did the design and furnishing of religious architecture respond directly to needs associated with the celebration of the liturgy or other cultic activities?   What were the functions and messages of the splendid mosaic programs that survive, for instance, in various churches in Rome and Ravenna?   To what extent may they be understood (possibly until today) as an aid to religious imagination and worship?   How were visual means employed to provide complex theological exegesis, and what is the relation of the imagery to religious writings?  What is the place of early Christian manuscript illumination within the larger context of late antique book culture?  What do we know about viewer response to Christian art both in the private and the public spheres?

Instructor(s): Karin Krause     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 30609,RLVC 43107,ARTH 20609

HCHR 43200. Colloquium: Ancient Christianity. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): 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.
Equivalent Course(s): BIBL 43200

HCHR 43301. Religion in Modern America, 1865 to 1920. 100 Units.

This course is a general history of religion in America from the Civil War to the 1920s. Special emphases include religious practice, interreligious encounters and conflicts, race, confrontation with modernity, and the changing social and public dimensions of religion in the U.S.

Instructor(s): Curtis Evans     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RAME 43301

HCHR 43995. Comparative Issues in Monotheistic Traditions. 100 Units.

The mysticisms of the three monotheistic faiths share many features that invite comparison. All three deal with sacred texts that overlap in instances, and all three responded in different ways to the philosophical mysticisms inherited from Classical antiquity. While there are a number of influences, both direct and indirect, among these traditions, there are far more instances of similar structural motifs shared by the three. This course is designed to explore the history and structural dynamics of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticisms through the careful reading of primary sources across the traditions.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane, Michael Sells, Bernard McGinn     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 43995,ISLM 43995,RLVC 43995

HCHR 44600. Renaissance and Reformation. 100 Units.

This class examines points of convergence and divergence during the era of the Renaissance and the Reformation spanning the time between Cusa and Bruno. The issues analyzed will go beyond strictly theological debates. We will examine views of reason and human nature, the revival of Platonism, the rise of historical thought, the study of law and philology, and the implications regarding the development of perspective on both thought and art. We will also examine the role of rhetoric, poetry, and moral philosophy; the rise of skepticism, the appeal to certitude, curriculum reform, and the reform of art as exemplified by Michelangelo.

Instructor(s): Susan Schreiner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 44601

HCHR 44804. Virginity and the Body in Late Antiquity & Early Middle Ages. 100 Units.

What did virginity mean to Christians in Late Antiquity, and how did this change and develop in the early medieval period?  What notions of the body and bodilyness did an ideal of virginity encourage and support?  We will begin by reading Peter Brown's classic, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity, together with some of the primary sources Brown uses to make his case, and selected recent studies.  We will take this theme into the early Middle Ages through a reading of monastic rules, hagiographies, and other texts.

Instructor(s): Lucy Pick     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 60606,GNSE 44804,THEO 44804

HCHR 45250. "Christians" and "Jews", Rhetoric and Reality. 100 Units.

A critical assessment of different scholarly positions on the relationship between “Christians” and “Jews” in the imperial period up until the end of the fourth century (e.g., “the siblings model,” “the parting of the ways,” the “wave theory model,” the “ways that never parted,” and others) as tested against close analysis of such literary sources as the letters of Paul, the gospels of Matthew and John, Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho, Melito of Sardis’ Peri Pascha, Tertullian’s “Against the Jews,” various works of Origen, and John Chrysostom’s 8 homilies “Against the Jews/Judaizing Christians.”  Our goal is careful methodological and historiographical analysis of whether or how from such sources we might discern and reconstruct historical reality – local and/or trans-Mediterranean  – about persons and groups, and their identities, viewpoints, practices and interactions.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Greek skills; Students who may be interested in this course but do not yet have Greek skills should contact the instructor

HCHR 46606. Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in 20th Century America. 100 Units.

Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in 20th Century America: Interpretations.  This seminar begins with George Marsden’s seminal Fundamentalism and American Culture (1980) as the major interpretive paradigm of the relationship evangelicalism to American culture and the various cultural, political and social factors in the emergence of fundamentalism in the early 20th century. The course looks at the evolution of scholarship on the meaning of fundamentalism, its relationship to evangelicalism, and fundamentalists’ and evangelicals’ changing understandings of America. Definitional problems are also addressed: what do we mean by evangelicalism and fundamentalism? How have evangelicals shaped discussions about Christianity in America?

Instructor(s): Curtis Evans     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RAME 46606

HCHR 47717. Augustine Confessions. 100 Units.

This seminar is based an in-depth reading of the Confessions, with use of the Latin text. Topics to be covered will be determined by consensus during the first week, but they may include the genesis of the work in relation to Augustine’s life and literary oeuvre (e.g. vis-à-vis the partly contemporary De Doctrina and De Trinitate); its structure (including the relationship between books I-X and XI-XIII) and narrative technique; its meditative versus dialogical character; Augustine’s representation of the self and his method of Biblical exegesis; Manichean and Neoplatonic influences; and ancient (Pelagius) and postmodern readings of the Confessions (Lyotard, Marion).  Once-weekly meetings will consist of discussions, lectures, and reports. 

Instructor(s): W. Otten and P. White     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 47717,HIST 64301,LATN 47717

HCHR 48801. The Long 1960s: Religion and Social Change. 100 Units.

There is general consensus that the 1960s witnessed profound and lasting changes in American life, especially in race relations, gender roles, sexuality, religious practice, and in politics. This course is an attempt to understand some of these changes, pausing to consider what actually happened and why at this particular historical moment. This seminar also focuses on divergent visions of democracy and examines contested ideals about the relationship between religion and the state.

Instructor(s): Curtis Evans     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RAME 48801

HCHR 51510. Idolatry: Historical and Modern Perspectives. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the concept of idolatry as formulated in the Reformation disputes. We will analyze the way idolatry was understood by Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. We will also look at the occurrences of iconoclasm and religious violence in the 16th century; at the development of the concept of the modern ideas of idolatry, partly as a legacy of Francis Bacon; and at the view of idolatry in Karl Barth, Jacques Ellul and Nicholas Lash.

Instructor(s): Susan Schreiner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 51510

HCHR 51703. Theological Criticism: Christology. 100 Units.

The seminar on theological criticism aims to explore the problem of how constructive theology can best make use of historical sources and do so in responsible fashion. While simply adhering to one’s confessional tradition yields uncritical positions, an eclectic attitude towards historical sources may not be a wise alternative. Without forcing theologians to become historians, this seminar deals with the larger issue of how to select and use one’s source material in such a way that the historical work is methodologically sound and the theological end product accessible and informative, while remaining properly constructive. The seminar concentrates especially but not exclusively on the use of premodern sources but other, later sources will also be brought to the discussion. As the seminar is in large part student-driven, students are invited to bring in sources of their choice to the table as well. This year’s theological critical focus will be on Christology and is loosely structured around Kathryn Tanner’s Christ the Key. Authors to be included are Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Aquinas, Eckhart, Calvin, Schleiermacher, Barth, Rahner.

Instructor(s): Willemien Otten     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 66003,THEO 57103

HCHR 52100. Galatians and James: Traditions in Conflict? 100 Units.

which use suspiciously similar vocabulary and even invoke the same exemplum (Abraham) to debate this religious question. First we shall study the historical context, religious world-view, rhetorical purpose and theology of each document on its own terms, and then test various theories of their literary and historical relationships with one another, while simultaneously engaging κατὰ πρόσωπον with the long and intertwined history of reception of both. Ongoing discussion of the nature, purpose, meaning and challenges of a biblical canon, its authority and negotiability in Christian traditions of thought and practice over time.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Greek skills (Koine)
Equivalent Course(s): BIBL 52100

HCHR 53500. Early Christian Biblical Interpretation. 100 Units.

This year the Early Christian Biblical Interpretation seminar will focus on two caches of untranslated Greek homiletic texts: the Greek homilies on the Psalms by Origen of Alexandria (discovered in 2012, published in a critical edition in 2015), and homilies by John Chrysostom on “problem passages” in the Pauline epistles.  Reading Origen and Chrysostom alongside one another will allow us to test the accuracy of the traditional divide between “Alexandrine allegory” and “Antiochene literalism,” while also focusing on the various ways that each employs the traditional school form of problemata kai lyseis (“problems and solutions”) in his interpretive work and its rhetorical presentation.

Instructor(s): Margaret M. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Advanced Greek skills (Attic and Koine)
Equivalent Course(s): BIBL 53500

Divinity - History of Islam Courses

There are currently no courses offered in this subject.

Divinity - History of Judaism Courses

HIJD 35350. Cultivation of Character in Jewish Moral/Spiritual Literature. 100 Units.

This course will survey classical texts and practices in Jewish religious literature from antiquity to the modern period.  Selections will include key portions from: Book of Proverbs; Ethics of the Fathers; Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan; Dererch Eretz; Maimonides’ ‘Eight Chapters’; Bachya ben Asher’s moral proems; Asher ben Yechiel’s ‘Orchot Hayyim’; Moshe Cordovero’s ‘Tomer Devorah’; Jewish Ethical Wills (diverse periods); Tracts of Spritual Practices (Safed and modern Hasidism); Moshe Hayyim Luzatto, ‘Mesilat Yesharim’.  Contemporary literature on moral and spiritual self-formation and practice will be considered; and pertinent comparisons will be made to classical Catholic sources.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Texts in Hebrew with English translations.
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 35350

HIJD 35503. Midrash and Revelation. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of Hebrew desired, but English translations will be provided.
Equivalent Course(s): RLIT 35503

HIJD 37303. The Four-fold: Studies in Jewish Exegesis. 100 Units.

This course will focus on the emergence of the four-fold method of Jewish Bible interpretation in the medieval period (known as PaRDes), in light of internal Jewish features since and antiquity and comparative Christian exegesis.  Particular attention will be placed on the work of the great medieval Spanish commentator Rabbi Bahya ben Asher (13th century).  Consideration of modern adaptations of this method will be taken up at the end (notably, in M. Fishbane’s commentary on the Song of Songs and in his theological writings).

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of Hebrew required, but English translation will be provided.
Equivalent Course(s): BIBL 37303

HIJD 38607. Lament and Lamentation in Jewish Literature I. 100 Units.

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).

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of Hebrew required (or consent of instructor)
Equivalent Course(s): RLIT 38607

HIJD 43108. Judaism, Islam, and the Study of Religion. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Guy Stroumsa     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): 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
Equivalent Course(s): ISLM 43108

HIJD 43995. Comparative Issues in Monotheistic Traditions. 100 Units.

The mysticisms of the three monotheistic faiths share many features that invite comparison. All three deal with sacred texts that overlap in instances, and all three responded in different ways to the philosophical mysticisms inherited from Classical antiquity. While there are a number of influences, both direct and indirect, among these traditions, there are far more instances of similar structural motifs shared by the three. This course is designed to explore the history and structural dynamics of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticisms through the careful reading of primary sources across the traditions.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane, Michael Sells, Bernard McGinn     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 43995,ISLM 43995,RLVC 43995

HIJD 44290. The Messiah and Messianism. 100 Units.

The course will consider the place of Messianism, perhaps the most enduring feature of Jewish thought in the modern period, the writings of Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, and Jacques Derrida.

Instructor(s): Paul Mendes-Flohr     Terms Offered: Autumn

HIJD 44900. Martin Buber's I and Thou. 100 Units.

Martin Buber's I and Thou. An analysis of the foundational text of Buber's philosophy of dialogue and religion.The close reading - explication de texte -- will supplement by reference to Buber's lectures "Religion as Presence" and "Zwiesprache" (Dialogue).

Instructor(s): Paul Mendes-Flohr     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 44900

HIJD 45302. Franz Rosenzweig's Shorter Writings. 100 Units.

Among Rosenzweig’s shorter writings, we will read his epistolary exchange with Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, “Judaism despite Christianity”; his programmatic essay “The New Thinking”; his satirical elaboration of his critique of philosophical idealism, Understanding the Sick and the Healthy, and his commentary on the poetry of Jehuda Halevy.

Instructor(s): Paul Mendes-Flohr     Terms Offered: Winter

HIJD 45600. Giving and Receiving. 100 Units.

Emphasis will be on care of the indigent. The focus will be textual (classical biblical and rabbinic sources, also some medieval legal codes), but will include comparative issues drawn from anthropology. The larger concern of this course will be on theological matters.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Texts in Hebrew with English Translations
Equivalent Course(s): BIBL 45602

HIJD 45612. Religion in the European Enlightenment: Spinoza to Kant. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Richard A. Rosengarten / Paul Mendes-Flohr     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): RLVC 45612

HIJD 46100. Franz Rosenzweig's Star of Redemption. 100 Units.

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.“

Instructor(s): Paul Mendes-Flohr     Terms Offered: Autumn

HIJD 47600. Gershom Scholem: The Theologian and Social Critic. 100 Units.

With the objective of determining whether Scholem's scholarship on mysticism and antinomianism reflects a theological and ideological agenda, we will examine his diaries, memoirs, correspondence, especially with Walter Benjamin on how to read Kafka, Zionism, his poetry, and occasional essays on theology.

Instructor(s): Paul Mendes-Flohr     Terms Offered: Winter

HIJD 49700. Readings in Abraham ibn Ezra. 100 Units.

Close readings of select texts from the diverse corpus of Abraham Ibn Ezra: medieval poet, linguist, biblical exegets, neoplatonic philosopher, and astrologer. The emphasis will be on his biblical commentaries, but the commentaries will be read together with his philosophical, linguistic and astrological writings.

Instructor(s): James Robinson

HIJD 50200. Readings in Arabic Religious Texts. 100 Units.

Selected texts from the Qur’an, the Arabic Bible, Islamic philosophy, Sufism, and other classical Arabic literature.

Instructor(s): Michael Sells     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 40604,ISLM 50200

HIJD 53360. Philosophy of Judaism: Soloveitchik Reads the Classics. 100 Units.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik was one of the most important philosophers of Judaism in the twentieth century. Among his many books, essays and lectures, we find a detailed engagement with the Bible, the Talmud and the fundamental works of Maimonides. This course will examine Soloveitchik’s philosophical readings and appropriation of Torah, Talmud, and both the Guide and the Mishneh Torah. A framing question of the course will be: how can one combine traditional Jewish learning and modern philosophical ideas? What can Judaism gain from philosophy? What can philosophy learn from Judaism?

Instructor(s): A. Davidson     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to jbarbaro@uchicago.edu by 12/15/2017. 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.
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 53360,KNOW 47002,PHIL 53360

HIJD 53510. Early Jewish Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. 100 Units.

Explores Jewish iseas and hermeneutics at Exodus 19-20 and select other biblical texts, in sources from the Septuagint and Dead Sea scrolls through Targumim and Rabbinic literature to Medieval Jewish commentaries.

Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Biblical Hebrew; Biblical Greek or Aramaic; Professor Approval
Equivalent Course(s): NELC 30060,BIBL 53510

Divinity - History of Religions Courses

HREL 30927. Knowledge on a Platter: Comparative Perspectives on Knowledge Texts in the Ancient World. 100 Units.

In various ancient cultures, sages created the new ways of systematizing what was known in fields as diverse as medicine, politics, sex, dreams, and mathematics. These texts did more than present what was known; they exemplified what it means to know - and also why reflective, systematic knowledge should be valued more highly than the knowledge gained from common sense or experience. Drawing on texts from Ancient India, Greece, Rome, and the Near East, this course will explore these early templates for the highest form of knowledge and compare their ways of creating fields of inquiry: the first disciplines. Texts include the Arthashastra, the Hippocratic corpus, Deuteronomy, the Kama Sutra, and Aristotle's Parva naturalia.

Instructor(s): Lorraine Daston and Wendy Doniger     Terms Offered: Spring. course taught spring 2018
Prerequisite(s): Graduate seminar - consent is required. Course is taught the first five weeks of the quarter (3/26/18-4/30/18) twice a week.
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 30927,KNOW 31415,CHSS 30927,SCTH 30927

HREL 32401. Jainism: An Indian Religion and its Contributions to Philosophy. 100 Units.

The course will introduce the history and doctrines of the Jaina religion and, in the second half of the quarter, turn to consider a selection of recent writings on Jaina philosophy in particular. Though there is no formal prerquisite, the course will presuppose a basic background in the study of Indian religions and philosophies, as is given, for instance, in Indian Philosophy I & II  (RLST 24201, RLST 24202). Please contact the instructor (m-kapstein@uchicago.edu) if you are uncertain as to your prior preparation.

Instructor(s): M. Kapstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to Juniors and Seniors
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 32401,RLST 23903

HREL 32900. Classical Theories of Religion. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Christian Wedemeyer     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 35005,AASR 32900

HREL 34309. Censorship from the Inquisition to the Present. 100 Units.

Collaborative research seminar on the history of censorship and information control, with a focus on the history of books and information technologies. The class will meet in Special Collections, and students will work with the professor to prepare an exhibit, The History of Censorship, to be held in the Special Collections exhibit space in the spring. Students will work with rare books and archival materials, design exhibit cases, write exhibit labels, and contribute to the exhibit catalog. Half the course will focus on censorship in early modern Europe, including the Inquisition, the spread of the printing press, and clandestine literature in the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Special focus on the effects of censorship on classical literature, both newly rediscovered works like Lucretius and lost books of Plato, and authors like Pliny the Elder and Seneca who had been available in the Middle Ages but became newly controversial in the Renaissance. The other half of the course will look at modern and contemporary censorship issues, from wartime censorship, to the censorship of comic books, to digital-rights management, to free speech on our own campus. Students may choose whether to focus their own research and exhibit cases on classical, early modern, modern, or contemporary censorship.  This course is part of the College Course Cluster, The Renaissance.

Instructor(s): A. Palmer & S. McManus     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Admission by consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 25417,CLAS 35417,HIST 35421,HIPS 25421,CHSS 35421,KNOW 21403,KNOW 31403,RLST 22121,SIGN 26010,HIST 25421

HREL 34410. Anthropology of Religion I. 100 Units.

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. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 35031,AASR 34410

HREL 35306. Sex and Censorship in South Asia. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Ahona Panda     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): 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.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 26710,GNSE 25306-01,SALC 25306

HREL 36000. Second-Year Sanskrit II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): W. Doniger     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): SANS 20100 or consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 48400,SANS 20200

HREL 39516. History of Skepticism. 100 Units.

Before we ask what is true or false, we must ask how we can know what is true or false. This course examines the vital role doubt and philosophical skepticism have played in the Western intellectual tradition, from pre-Socratic Greece through the Enlightenment, with a focus on how Criteria of Truth—what kinds of arguments are considered legitimate sources of certainty—have changed over time. The course will examine dialog between skeptical and dogmatic thinkers, and how many of the most fertile systems in the history of philosophy have been hybrid systems which divided the world into things which can be known, and things which cannot. The course will touch on the history of atheism, heresy and free thought, on fideism and skeptical religion, and will examine how the Scientific Method is itself a form of philosophical skepticism. Primary source readings will include Plato, Sextus Empiricus, Lucretius, Ockham, Pierre Bayle, Montaigne, Descartes, Francis Bacon, Hobbes, Voltaire, Diderot, and others.

Instructor(s): A. Palmer     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): No prerequisites; first-year students welcome.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 39516,CLCV 28517,CLAS 38517,HIPS 29516,CHSS 39516,KNOW 21406,KNOW 31406,RLST 22123,SIGN 26011,HIST 29516

HREL 42501. Many Ramayanas. 100 Units.

This course is a close reading of the great Hindu Epic, the story of Rama's recovery of his wife, Sita, from the demon Ravana on the island of Lanka, with special attention to the changes in the telling of the story throughout Indian history. Readings are in Paula Richman, Many Ramayanas and Questioning Ramayanas; the Ramayanas of Valmiki (in translation by Goldman, Sattar, Shastri, and R. K. Narayan), Kampan, and Tulsi; the Yogavasistha-Maharamayana; and contemporary comic books and films.

Instructor(s): W. Doniger     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 22901,RLST 26801,SALC 42501,SCTH 40701

HREL 42907. Contemporary Theories of Religion. 100 Units.

This course will explore developments in the study of religion from the Marburg Declaration of 1960 to the present. Participants will attend to the recent history of the field, intellectually and institutionally; to the analysis of select theoretical developments in this period, their prospects, accomplishments, and challenges; to the relationships between the History of Religions and work on religion in related fields of study (e.g., anthropology, sociology, history); and to the social location(s) of the study of religion in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Instructor(s): Christian Wedemeyer     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Must have taken “Classical Theories of Religion” HREL 32900/AASR 32900/ANTH 35005
Equivalent Course(s): AASR 42907

HREL 44009. Religious Law, Secular Law, and Sexual Deviation-Ancient India. 100 Units.

The Laws of Manu, the Arthasastra, and the Kamasutra.  This course will compare these three important texts in order, first, to understand the social norms for religion and sexuality in ancient India (in The Laws of Manu); and then to discover how two widely accepted scientific texts (the Kamasutra, on pleasure, and the Arthasastra, on politics) challenged those norms.

Instructor(s): Wendy Doniger     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 27701,GNSE 44009,SALC 44000

HREL 44701. Ritual in South Asian Buddhism. 100 Units.

This course will explore some ritual practices and theories of South Asian Buddhists in light of current theorization of ritual. What is it that Buddhists “actually” (physically and verbally) do? And, what do they say about what they do? Does what they do “mean” anything? If so, how? And, what significance might this have for anyone else? What happens when we consider these possibly meaningful forms of expression as “ritual?” Exemplaria will be drawn from India, Nepal, Burma and Tibet, with some comparative perspectives considered along the way.

Instructor(s): Christian Wedemeyer     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Some prior study of South Asian religions
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 44701

HREL 45200. The Holy Land in the Middle Ages. 100 Units.

This course will examine written and visual material that that testifiestestifies to the medieval encounters of the Abrahamic religions in a sacred landscape where the histories of Jews, Christians, and Muslims overlap. While bearing witness to the cultural wealth and religious pluralism that characterize the Holy Land during the Middle Ages, texts and visual artifacts likewise testify to religious competition, conflict, loss, and exclusion.  Among the primary textual sources we will read (in English translation) are accounts by pilgrims and other travelers to the Holy Land, extracts from medieval chronicles, and eye-witness accounts from the period of the Crusades. Next In addition to the textual material, we will study art and architecture created for different religious communities (e.g., synagogues and their richly decorated mosaic floors, sites and souvenirs of Christian pilgrimage, major works of Islamic art and architecture).  We will also investigate phenomena of the reception of the Holy Land’s sacred sites and dynamic history in medieval Europe (e.g., replicas of the Holy Sepulchre, narratives of the “Holy Grail,“ notions of the “Heavenly Jerusalem“).

Instructor(s): Karin Krause     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Willingness to engage with primary sources—textual and visual—related to different historical and religious contexts, as well as the relevant scholarship.
Equivalent Course(s): RLVC 45200

HREL 45702. Sources and Methods in the Study of Chinese Buddhism. 100 Units.

A graduate-level introduction to the study of Chinese Buddhism and to the field of Chinese Buddhist studies, mainly as it has been practiced in North America and Europe over the last 50 years.

Instructor(s): P. Copp     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Working ability in literary Chinese helpful but not necessary.
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 45700

HREL 48910. Readings in Tibetan Buddhist Texts. 100 Units.

Readings in selected Buddhist doctrinal writings in Tibetan.

Instructor(s): Matthew Kapstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open to students reading Tibetan at an advanced level.
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 48501,DVPR 48910

HREL 50104. Chinese Religious Manuscripts and Epigraphy. 100 Units.

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. 

Instructor(s): P. Copp     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of literary Chinese required.
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 50100

HREL 50204. Destruction of Images, Books and Artifacts in Europe and South. 100 Units.

The course offers a comparative perspective on European and South Asian iconoclasm. In the European tradition, iconoclasm was predominantly aimed at images, whereas in South Asian traditions it was also enacted upon books and buildings. The combination of these traditions will allow us to extend the usual understanding of iconoclasm as the destruction of images to a broader phenomenon of destruction of cultural artifacts and help question the theories of image as they have been independently developed in Europe and South Asia, and occasionally in conversation with one another. We will ask how and why, in the context of particular political imaginaries and material cultures, were certain objects singled out for iconoclasm? Also, who was considered to be entitled or authorized to commit their destruction? Through a choice of concrete examples of iconoclasm, we will query how religious and political motivations are defined, redefined, and intertwined in each particular case. We will approach the iconoclastic events in Europe and South Asia through the lenses of philology, history, and material culture. Class discussions will incorporate not only textual materials, but also the close collaborative study of images, objects, and film. Case studies will make use of objects in the Art Institute of Chicago and Special Collections at the University Library.

Instructor(s): Tyler Williams and Olga Solovieva     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 50204,CMLT 50204,SCTH 50204,RLVC 50204,ARTH 50204,CDIN 50204

HREL 50207. Christianity and Korea. 100 Units.

Selected readings on the topics pertaining to the joint study of Christianity and of Korea. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): AASR 50207

HREL 52200. Problems in the History of Religions. 100 Units.

A seminar for students in the PhD program in the History of Religions working on their colloquium paper, orals statement for the Qualifying Examination, or dissertation chapter.

Instructor(s): Wendy Doniger     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Limited to Ph.D. students in the History of Religions

HREL 52201. Discourse & Practice: History of Religions Classic Researches. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Bruce Lincoln     Terms Offered: Autumn

HREL 52808. Sovereignty, Intimacy, and the Body. 100 Units.

A close exploration of relationships between state power and everyday forms of embodied sociality, ethics, and intimacy. Readings will include selections from some or all of the following authors: Asad, Berlant, Foucault, Kantorowicz, Santner, Siegel, and various ethnographies. 

Instructor(s): Alireza Doostdar     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor, and at least 1 previous course in ANTH or AASR
Note(s): Class limit to 10 students
Equivalent Course(s): AASR 52808

HREL 56000. Dissertation Seminar. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Bruce Lincoln     Terms Offered: Autumn

Divinity - Philosophy of Religions Courses

DVPR 32401. Jainism: An Indian Religion and its Contributions to Philosophy. 100 Units.

The course will introduce the history and doctrines of the Jaina religion and, in the second half of the quarter, turn to consider a selection of recent writings on Jaina philosophy in particular. Though there is no formal prerquisite, the course will presuppose a basic background in the study of Indian religions and philosophies, as is given, for instance, in Indian Philosophy I & II  (RLST 24201, RLST 24202). Please contact the instructor (m-kapstein@uchicago.edu) if you are uncertain as to your prior preparation.

Instructor(s): M. Kapstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to Juniors and Seniors
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 32401,RLST 23903

DVPR 33812. Descartes on the Self and God, and His Opponents. 100 Units.

On the basis of Meditations on First Philosophy, with Objections and Replies, one will study how Descartes’s positions were understood both by his contemporaries (Hobbes, Pascal, etc.) as well as by later philosophers (Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, etc.). Emphasis will be put on the misunderstandings of the ego, of the so-called “dualism” and of the definitions of God.

Instructor(s): Jean-Luc Marion     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 33812

DVPR 34806. Augustine's On the Trinity. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Ryan Coyne     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 34806

DVPR 41800. The Buddha-Nature: Mahayana Sutras/Zhanaran's Diamond Scalpel. 100 Units.

In this course we will trace the development of the idea of the Buddha-Nature or Tathāgatha-garbha (womb or embryo of the Buddha) through several Mahāyāna Sūtras (Tathāgatha-garbha Sūtra, Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, Śūraṅgama Sūtra, Mahāyāna Parinirvāna Sūtra), with special attention to the ways each text handles the apparent reneging of the basic Buddhist tenets of Non-Self and Emptiness suggested by this concept, and the “anxiety of influence” concerning Upanishadic notions of Ātman and Brahman, here as previously hotly denounced in spite of the apparent similarity of these ideas to the Buddha-Nature idea.  Is this mere polemical sectarian posturing, or is there a genuine philosophical issue at stake?  Or?   We will also explore the philosophical implications of this idea in Chinese Buddhist schools, in particular the Chan School’s identification of Buddha-nature with sentience per se, and the Tiantai School’s insistence on the “Threefold” Buddha-Nature and the resultant claim that “Insentient Beings have the Buddha-Nature.”  The latter ideas will be explored at length through a close reading of Jingxi Zhanran’s classic polemical work, The Diamond Scalpel (Jin’gangpi金剛錍)All readings will be in English.

Instructor(s): Brook Ziporyn     Terms Offered: Autumn

DVPR 41900. Nietzsche as Metaphysician: Non/Self, Recurrence, Eternity. 100 Units.

An exploration of the themes of Will-to-Power and Eternal Recurrence as presented in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, supplemented by readings from other works, with special attention to the posthumously published notes critiquing commonsensical and scientific notions of causality, things, selves, atoms, will, and forces.   Of particular interest will be the comparative horizon of the anti-substantialist and anti-essentialist Buddhist notions of Non-Self and Emptiness; in both cases we will be focusing on how these extreme forms of anti-essentialism, denying that any entity from atoms to forces to humans possess a substantial existence, nonetheless both end up lending themselves to some form of the idea of immanent “deep eternity” for all things, and on whether and to what extent these two parallel explorations have any convergences or divergences that will help illuminate both, or even, better yet, illuminating substancelessness and eternity.  All readings in English.

Instructor(s): Brook Ziporyn     Terms Offered: Autumn

DVPR 46616. Reason and Religion. 100 Units.

The quarrel between reason and faith has a long history.  The birth of Christianity was in the crucible of rationality.  The ancient Greeks privileged this human capacity above all others, finding in reason the quality wherein man was closest to the gods, while the early Christians found this viewpoint antithetical to religious humility.  As religion and its place in society have evolved throughout history, so have the standing of, and philosophical justification for, non-belief on rational grounds.  This course will examine the intellectual and cultural history of arguments against religion in Western thought from antiquity to the present.  Along the way, of course, we will also examine the assumptions bound up in the binary terms "religion" and "reason."

Instructor(s): Shadi Bartsch and Robert Richards     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent required: Email sbartsch@uchicago.edu a few sentences describing your background and what you hope to get out of this seminar.
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 40201,CLAS 46616,CHSS 40201,HIST 66606,PHIL 43011

DVPR 47004. Religious Diversity as a Philosophical Problem. 100 Units.

The manifest diversity of religious traditions, many of which advance doctrinal claims that evidently contradict the claims of other traditions, raises significant philosophical problems — especially epistemological and ethical problems — regarding truth and justification, tolerance and exclusion, etc.  Many take the competing and mutually exclusive claims of the world’s religious traditions as evidence of the falsity of some or all of them, or as recommending skepticism, relativism, or other such ways of accommodating the conflicting claims.  This course will explore some of these issues, focusing particularly on issues of truth, justification, and toleration.  In keeping with the theme of diversity, the course will consider not only some modern Western attempts to address the various philosophical problems, but also some examples of philosophical thought reflecting India’s historically different experience of religious diversity.

Instructor(s): Dan Arnold     Terms Offered: Spring 2017

DVPR 47607. Buddhist Sutras Reading in Traditional Tiantai. 100 Units.

Buddhist Sutras Reading in Traditional Tiantai "Classification of Teachings" Rather Than Historical Order. Buddhist sutra literature is vast and complex, representing many historical periods and many diverse and even conflicting conceptions of Buddhist doctrine.  A historical development of ideas can be traced in these texts by treating them in their historical order, each subsequent period responding to and developing ideas from previous periods.  But Chinese Buddhist schools such as Tiantai understood the divergences of these texts to be part of a different order: the order in which they were traditionally regarded to have been preached by the Buddha, which stands in sharp contrast to their actual dates of composition.   By reading them in the order stipulated by the Tiantai “classification of teachings,” as carefully designed parts of a five-part pedagogical program utilized by the Buddha, we come to have a clearer conception of how Tiantai understood the relation between provisional and ultimate truth, and the process of teaching and comprehending ideas, from which a different picture of Buddhism emerges.   In this class we will read portions of the following sutra or classes of sutras, in the following order: 1) Avataṃsaka; 2) Āgamas, 3) Vaipulya (Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa and others); 4) Prajñāparamitā; 5) The Lotus Sutra and The Nirvana Sutra.

Instructor(s): Brook Ziporyn     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): All readings will be in English.

DVPR 48910. Readings in Tibetan Buddhist Texts. 100 Units.

Readings in selected Buddhist doctrinal writings in Tibetan.

Instructor(s): Matthew Kapstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open to students reading Tibetan at an advanced level.
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 48910,SALC 48501

DVPR 48912. Comparative Experiments with Buddhist Thought. 100 Units.

Reading one or several recent works written in English attempting to put some aspect of Buddhist thought into dialogue with modern philosophical concerns, particularly those of the European continental traditions.   Our likely texts will be Stephen Laycock, The Mind as Mirror and the Mirroring of Mind;   Brook Ziporyn, Being and Ambiguity: Philosophical Experiments with Tiantai Buddhism;   David Loy, Transcendence and Lack.  

Instructor(s): Brook Ziporyn     Terms Offered: Spring

DVPR 50115. Seminar on the Black Notebooks:Heidegger & the Problem of Evil. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Ryan Coyne     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 50115

DVPR 50201. Seminar: Contemporary Critical Theory. 100 Units.

This course will examine some of the salient texts of postmodernism. Part of the question of the course will be the status and meaning of “post”-modern, post-structuralist. The course requires active and informed participation.

Instructor(s): Francoise Meltzer     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Comp Lit core course. 2nd part of sequence.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 50201

DVPR 51315. Reading Daoist Philosophical Texts: the Liezi and the Huainanz. 100 Units.

Reading the rich original texts of “second-tier” Daoist philosophical works, the Liezi and/or Huananzi, with special attention to their relations to the “first-tier” classics, the Daodejing and Zhuangzi.

Instructor(s): Brook Ziporyn     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): All readings in classical Chinese.

DVPR 51404. The Pantheist Controversy: Spinoza to Hegel. 100 Units.

This course focuses on Spinoza’s system of thought and its reception in late 18th and early 19th century Germany.  The first five weeks will be a careful reading of Spinoza’s Ethics, supplemented by selections from his Principles of Cartesian Philosophy, Short Treatise on God, Man and His Well-Being, and Emendation of the Intellect.   The second half of the class will examine the interpretation and reception of and response to Spinoza’s ideas, mainly in Jacobi’s Letters on Spinoza, and the response to this response from Schelling and Hegel, above all in Hegel’s Faith and Knowledge.   Time permitting, we will examine Hegel’s changed views on Spinoza in his mature works (post-1807).  Our focus will be the on understanding the thought of both Schelling and Hegel in the early 1800s as a kind of Kantian Spinozism, a seeming oxymoron, and the consequences of their later abandonment of this position.

Instructor(s): Brook Ziporyn     Terms Offered: Spring

DVPR 51410. Neo-Confucianism of the Song to Ming Dynasties. 100 Units.

This course will consist of close readings of the works of the key Neo-Confucian thinkers of the Song and Ming dynasties (11th to 17th centuries): Zhou Dunyi, Zhang Zai, Cheng Hao, Cheng Yi, Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming and perhaps others, focusing on their metaphysical and ethical ideas, especially Li (sometimes translated as “principle,” or as “pattern,” or as “coherence” or as “productive compossibility”), Qi (sometimes translated as “vital force” or “material force”), ren (“benevolence,” “humaneness,”), xin  (“heart-mind”) and zhong (“center, the unexpressed, equilibrium”).

Instructor(s): Brook Ziporyn     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Some classical Chinese reading ability and some familiarity with classical Confucianism Desirable.

DVPR 51610. The Meanings of “Theology”: Introduction to the History of the Concepts. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): J. Marion     Terms Offered: Spring

DVPR 51611. Reading of Saint Augustine's The City of God as an Apology. 100 Units.

The particular characteristics and special concern of this special book, compared to the rest of Augustine's production, can well, if not only be explained by referring the whole De Civitate Dei to the tradition of the "Apology for the Christians", initiated by (among some few others) Justin in Rome, and rehearsed a century later by Tertullian in Africa.  Bibliography:  De Civitate Dei, ed. B. Dombart (either in Teubner, or in "Corpus Christianorum".  Concerning the City of God against the Pagans, trans. H. Benttenson, Penguin Books, 1972.  J.-L. Marion, In the Self's Place. The approach of saint Augustine, trans. J.L. Kosky, Stanford University Press, 2012 (Au lieu de soi. Approche de saint Augustin, Paris, PUF, 2008)

Instructor(s): Jean-Luc Marion     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 51611

DVPR 51700. Yogācāra. 100 Units.

This seminar, which presupposes a basic knowledge of Indian and/or Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, will consider some of the foundational texts of the Yogacara tradition of thought, with particular reference to the works of Vasubandhu. In addition to close readings of assortd primary sources, we will consider contemporary scholarly debates regarding the interpretation of Yogacara (e.e., concerning the question whether this is aptly characterized as an “idealist” school of thought).

Instructor(s): Dan Arnold     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Some knowledge of Sanskrit or Tibetan is preferred.
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 49006

DVPR 53309. Saint Augustine: Apology and Eschatology, The City of God. 100 Units.

The City of God, although central to the theology of St. Augustine, does not seem, in his style and themes, exactly on line with his other greatest works. This can be explained if we read it as a follow up of the former attempts to perform theology as an apology – according to Justin and Tertullian (among others).  In that view, one can understand better why and how St. Augustine has addressed political and historical as well as spiritual and biblical issues – they all focus on explaining how time (and times) should be understood from the view point of the eternity of God, which means eschatology.

Instructor(s): Jean-Luc Marion     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Recommended reading:,The City of God, trans. H. Bettenson, Penguin, 2003.,De Civitate Dei, eds. G.E. McCracken et al, Loeb, 7 Volumes <these volumes are available online via Hathi Trust at Regenstein Library>
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 53309

DVPR 53360. Philosophy of Judaism: Soloveitchik Reads the Classics. 100 Units.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik was one of the most important philosophers of Judaism in the twentieth century. Among his many books, essays and lectures, we find a detailed engagement with the Bible, the Talmud and the fundamental works of Maimonides. This course will examine Soloveitchik’s philosophical readings and appropriation of Torah, Talmud, and both the Guide and the Mishneh Torah. A framing question of the course will be: how can one combine traditional Jewish learning and modern philosophical ideas? What can Judaism gain from philosophy? What can philosophy learn from Judaism?

Instructor(s): A. Davidson     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to jbarbaro@uchicago.edu by 12/15/2017. 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.
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 53360,KNOW 47002,PHIL 53360

DVPR 57715. Brauer Seminar: Gender and Sexuality in the Study of Religion. 100 Units.

Our seminar is a team-taught, interdisciplinary graduate level course focusing on gender and sexuality in the study of religion.  Our aim is to provide theoretical concepts, tools and methods for students to analyze gender and sexuality across a variety of religious traditions, historical periods and literary genres.  Divided into three parts – philosophy and psychoanalysis, anthropology and ethics, the course proceeds according to the areas of specialty offered by participating faculty members.  Topics covered include the following:  structuralist and poststructuralist approaches to sexual difference, political economy of sex, performativity theory, sociology of labor, race, sex and empire. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo, Sarah Hammerschlag, Sarah Fredericks     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RLVC 57715,RETH 57715,AASR 57715

DVPR 58804. Seminar: Dissertation Methodology. 100 Units.

A two-week seminar on the methodology of advanced research and writing for Ph.D. students in the dissertation stage of their program.  Each student will present a selection from their current work, with special additional discussion focused on the concept of revelation related to their dissertation topics, followed by a response from Prof. Marion and a discussion-format critique.  The presentations will be reserved primarily for students in ABD status.  Those not yet dissertating but in the final stage of their qualifying exams and proposal submissions are encouraged to engage in the discussion portion of the seminar

Instructor(s): Jean-Luc Marion     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): The seminar will be scheduled over 2-3 hour sessions each week from January 24 to February 2, 2017. Some sessions may be evening or weekend hours to accommodate all participants. Enrollment by application to Dean Owens.
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 58804

Divinity - Psychology and Sociology of Religion Courses

There are currently no courses offered in this subject.

Divinity - Religion and Literature Courses

RLIT 35503. Midrash and Revelation. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of Hebrew desired, but English translations will be provided.
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 35503

RLIT 38607. Lament and Lamentation in Jewish Literature I. 100 Units.

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).

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of Hebrew required (or consent of instructor)
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 38607

RLIT 42410. Material Religion. 100 Units.

This course examines approaches to the material study of religion.  What are the gains of studying religion through bodily practices and sensory perceptions?  How have various scholarly disciplines examined ritual art, objects, things and the organization of space and time?  What analytic directions for understanding the social life of religion has a materialist orientation enabled?  The course will include readings on mediation, technology and public culture.  

Instructor(s): Angie Heo     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): AASR 42410

RLIT 43600. Comparative Mystical Literature: Islamic, Jewish and Christian. 100 Units.

This course will examine Islamic, Christian, and Jewish mystical literature, with one third of the class devoted to each of the three traditions.  Our focus will be upon writings from the late 12th to early 14th centuries, CE by Ibn al-`Arabi, Meister Eckhart, Hadewijch, Marguerite Porete, and Moses de Loen (by attribution).  We will also look at some selections from other writings, including Plotinus and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.  Class format centers upon close readings of specific primary texts.

Instructor(s): Michael Sells     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Willingness to work in one of the following languages: Arabic, Latin, Greek, French, German, Hebrew, Aramaic or Spanish.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 40200,ISLM 43300

Divinity - Religion, Literature, and Visual Culture Courses

RLVC 32302. Byzantium: Art, Religion, Culture I. 100 Units.

In this introductory seminar we will explore works of art and architecture as primary sources for Byzantine civilization. Through the close investigation of artifacts of different media and techniques, students will gain insight into the artistic production of the Byzantine Empire from its foundation in the 4th century A.D. to the Ottoman conquest in 1453. We will employ different methodological approaches and resources that are relevant for the fruitful investigation of artifacts in their respective cultural setting. In order to fully assess the pivotal importance of the visual arts in Byzantine culture, we will address a wide array of topics, including art and ritual, patronage, the interrelation of art and text, classical heritage, art and theology, Iconoclasm, etc. 

Instructor(s): K. Krause     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 28310,ARTH 32302,ARTH 23202,HCHR 32302

RLVC 32400. Theory of Literature: The Twentieth Century. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Sarah Hammerschlag     Terms Offered: Autumn

RLVC 36000. Novel Traditions. 100 Units.

Can a literary form be understood as a religious tradition?   The course pursues this question comparatively, examining early English and twentieth-century African-American works of prose fiction: Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Invisible Man (1951); Moll Flanders (1724) and Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937); Jane Eyre (1847) and Morrison’s Beloved (1987).  Interspersed will be readings on three foci of comparison: the interaction of nation- and novel-building; the literary-historical accounts of “the rise of the novel” England and of “African-American literature” in America; and analyses of each period’s controlling religious question – for eighteenth-century England, the fact of death, and the possibility of a future state (as addressed in essays written by Addison and Steele for The Spectator); for twentieth-century America, the question of dual identity and the “color line” (as addressed in W.E.B. DuBois in The Souls of Black Folk).

Instructor(s): Richard Rosengarten     Terms Offered: Autumn

RLVC 38802. Pilgrimage in Antiquity and the Early Christendom. 100 Units.

This course will present an interdisciplinary interrogation into the nature of pilgrimage in pre-Christian antiquity and the rise of Christian pilgrimage in the years after Constantine.  It will simultaneously be a reflection on the disciplinary problems of examining the phenomena of pilgrimage from various standpoints including art history, archaeology, anthropology, the history of religions, the literary study of travel writing, as well as on the difficulties of reading broad and general theories against the bitty minutiae of ancient evidence and source material.  The core material, beyond the theoretical overview, will be largely limited to antiquity and early Christianity; but if students wish to write their papers on areas beyond this relatively narrow remit (in other religions, in the middle ages, modern or early modern periods), this will be positively encouraged!

Instructor(s): J. Elsner     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course will be taught in an intensive format twice per week, plus some individual discussion sessions to set up term papers, for the first five weeks of the quarter.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 35300,ARTH 25300

RLVC 41205. 20th Century Theories of Art: Historiography, Religion, Crisis. 100 Units.

This course will serve as a historically situated, philosophically inflected, introduction to the methods developed in the twentieth century for the study of images.  It will address the discipline of Art History in Germany and Austria in the years up to 1933, the conflict of Protestant and Catholic models for the historiography of images before the first World War, the effects of the Nazi regime on the writing of the history of art, and the impact of the Second World War on scholarship in both Germany and among refugees, many of them Jews.  It is intended to serve both as an introduction to the critical historiography of art and to some of the prime methods developed in the last century for the study of images.

Instructor(s): J. Elsner     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course will be taught in an intensive format twice per week for the first five weeks of the quarter.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 41305

RLVC 41504. Blake's Theology in Poetry and Prints. 100 Units.

It has been well remarked of William Blake (1757-1827) that he was assuredly a Christian – and that he was a church of one.   The course aims to approach Blake’s emphatic if idiosyncratic religiosity via particular attention to the remarkable interrelations of his poetry with his prints.

Instructor(s): Richard A. Rosengarten     Terms Offered: Winter

RLVC 43107. Early Christian Art. 100 Units.

This course will focus on the visual arts as ubiquitous, understanding them as an essential part of early Christian culture and identity.  Close attention will be paid throughout to interdisciplinary scholarly methods that have been developed in order to approach early Christian art within the larger framework of late antique culture and to decode the symbolism that characterizes it.  Some sample questions we are going to discuss include: What do the earliest Christian images in the catacombs and on sarcophagi convey about the hopes and fears of those who commissioned them?  In which ways did the design and furnishing of religious architecture respond directly to needs associated with the celebration of the liturgy or other cultic activities?   What were the functions and messages of the splendid mosaic programs that survive, for instance, in various churches in Rome and Ravenna?   To what extent may they be understood (possibly until today) as an aid to religious imagination and worship?   How were visual means employed to provide complex theological exegesis, and what is the relation of the imagery to religious writings?  What is the place of early Christian manuscript illumination within the larger context of late antique book culture?  What do we know about viewer response to Christian art both in the private and the public spheres?

Instructor(s): Karin Krause     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 30609,ARTH 20609,HCHR 43107

RLVC 43301. Theory and Texts. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Richard A. Rosengarten     Terms Offered: Autumn

RLVC 43995. Comparative Issues in Monotheistic Traditions. 100 Units.

The mysticisms of the three monotheistic faiths share many features that invite comparison. All three deal with sacred texts that overlap in instances, and all three responded in different ways to the philosophical mysticisms inherited from Classical antiquity. While there are a number of influences, both direct and indirect, among these traditions, there are far more instances of similar structural motifs shared by the three. This course is designed to explore the history and structural dynamics of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticisms through the careful reading of primary sources across the traditions.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane, Michael Sells, Bernard McGinn     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 43995,HIJD 43995,ISLM 43995

RLVC 45200. The Holy Land in the Middle Ages. 100 Units.

This course will examine written and visual material that that testifiestestifies to the medieval encounters of the Abrahamic religions in a sacred landscape where the histories of Jews, Christians, and Muslims overlap. While bearing witness to the cultural wealth and religious pluralism that characterize the Holy Land during the Middle Ages, texts and visual artifacts likewise testify to religious competition, conflict, loss, and exclusion.  Among the primary textual sources we will read (in English translation) are accounts by pilgrims and other travelers to the Holy Land, extracts from medieval chronicles, and eye-witness accounts from the period of the Crusades. Next In addition to the textual material, we will study art and architecture created for different religious communities (e.g., synagogues and their richly decorated mosaic floors, sites and souvenirs of Christian pilgrimage, major works of Islamic art and architecture).  We will also investigate phenomena of the reception of the Holy Land’s sacred sites and dynamic history in medieval Europe (e.g., replicas of the Holy Sepulchre, narratives of the “Holy Grail,“ notions of the “Heavenly Jerusalem“).

Instructor(s): Karin Krause     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Willingness to engage with primary sources—textual and visual—related to different historical and religious contexts, as well as the relevant scholarship.
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 45200

RLVC 45612. Religion in the European Enlightenment: Spinoza to Kant. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Richard A. Rosengarten / Paul Mendes-Flohr     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 45612

RLVC 50204. Destruction of Images, Books and Artifacts in Europe and South. 100 Units.

The course offers a comparative perspective on European and South Asian iconoclasm. In the European tradition, iconoclasm was predominantly aimed at images, whereas in South Asian traditions it was also enacted upon books and buildings. The combination of these traditions will allow us to extend the usual understanding of iconoclasm as the destruction of images to a broader phenomenon of destruction of cultural artifacts and help question the theories of image as they have been independently developed in Europe and South Asia, and occasionally in conversation with one another. We will ask how and why, in the context of particular political imaginaries and material cultures, were certain objects singled out for iconoclasm? Also, who was considered to be entitled or authorized to commit their destruction? Through a choice of concrete examples of iconoclasm, we will query how religious and political motivations are defined, redefined, and intertwined in each particular case. We will approach the iconoclastic events in Europe and South Asia through the lenses of philology, history, and material culture. Class discussions will incorporate not only textual materials, but also the close collaborative study of images, objects, and film. Case studies will make use of objects in the Art Institute of Chicago and Special Collections at the University Library.

Instructor(s): Tyler Williams and Olga Solovieva     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 50204,CMLT 50204,SCTH 50204,HREL 50204,ARTH 50204,CDIN 50204

RLVC 57715. Brauer Seminar: Gender and Sexuality in the Study of Religion. 100 Units.

Our seminar is a team-taught, interdisciplinary graduate level course focusing on gender and sexuality in the study of religion.  Our aim is to provide theoretical concepts, tools and methods for students to analyze gender and sexuality across a variety of religious traditions, historical periods and literary genres.  Divided into three parts – philosophy and psychoanalysis, anthropology and ethics, the course proceeds according to the areas of specialty offered by participating faculty members.  Topics covered include the following:  structuralist and poststructuralist approaches to sexual difference, political economy of sex, performativity theory, sociology of labor, race, sex and empire. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo, Sarah Hammerschlag, Sarah Fredericks     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 57715,RETH 57715,AASR 57715

Divinity - Religious Ethics Courses

RETH 30100. Minor Classics in Ethics. 000 Units.

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.  Discussions address a pre-circulated article for each meeting.  Selected articles have revitalized forgotten themes or have launched new problems for moral philosophy and religious ethics.   The 2016-17 academic year marks the second of a two- year reading cycle.  No background is required. Thursdays 12:15-1:30pm: 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th weeks of the quarter.

Instructor(s): Richard B. Miller     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter 2016-17
Note(s): No Credit - DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE Please send email contact information to Professor Richard Miller (rbm1@uchicago.edu ) to gain access to the Google Drive, which posts the reading list and the readings in PDF.

RETH 30702. Introduction to Environmental Ethics. 100 Units.

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? 

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates can enroll with permission of instructor.

RETH 30802. Contemporary Religious Ethics I. 100 Units.

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.  

Instructor(s): Richard Miller     Terms Offered: Autumn

RETH 30803. Contemporary Religious Ethics II. 100 Units.

This is the second of a two-quarter introduction to 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 for the second quarter will focus on normative resources within religious traditions or on specific ethical problems.

Instructor(s): Richard Miller     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students may enroll in either or both quarters. Doctoral students in the RETH area are encouraged to enroll in both quarters.

RETH 31100. History of Theological Ethics I. 100 Units.

This is the first part of a two-part history.  It is conducted through the study of basic, classic texts. The course moves from the philosophical ethics of the Greek and Roman worlds through strands of Hebrew scripture, the origins of the Christian movement, the end of the Roman age to the emergence of Islam, and, finally, Christian and Jewish scholastic and mystical thought in the Western middle ages. While the golden thread of the history is the origin and differentiation of Christian moral thinking, this is set within with the complexity of traditions (Hellenistic philosophical, Jewish, Islamic) that intersect and often collide throughout these formative century in Western thought. The course proceeds by lectures and discussion. Most readings are in translation. There will be a final examination. No previous work in theology, philosophy, or ethics is required but it is suggested.

Instructor(s): William Schweiker     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 31100

RETH 31200. History of Theological Ethics II. 100 Units.

This is the second part of a two-part history.  It is conducted through the study of basic, classic texts. The course begins with the tumultuous period of the Reformation and the Renaissance arising from the so-called Middle Ages and so attention to rebirth of classical thought, the plight of women in the medieval world, various religious voices, and the rise of cities and even nations. The course then moves into the emergence of distinctly “modern” forms of ethics in the “Enlightenment,” through the romantic period and to the political, economic, and religious crises of the 20th century. The history ends with the emergence in the global field of the power interaction of the religions. While the golden thread of the history is the development and differentiation of Christian moral thinking, this is set within the complexity of traditions that intersect and often collide through centuries in Western thought. The course proceeds by lectures and discussion. Most readings are in translation. There will be a final examination. No previous work in theology, philosophy, or ethics is required but is suggested.

Instructor(s): William Schweiker     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 31200

RETH 32900. Emotion, Reason, and Law. 100 Units.

Emotions figure in many areas of the law, and many legal doctrines (from reasonable provocation in homicide to mercy in criminal sentencing) invite us to think about emotions and their relationship to reason.  In addition, some prominent theories of the limits of law make reference to emotions: thus Lord Devlin and, more recently, Leon Kass have argued that the disgust of the average member of society is a sufficient reason for rendering a practice illegal, even though it does no harm to others.  Emotions, however, are all too rarely studied closely, with the result that both theory and doctrine are often confused. (A) (I)

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 49301,GNSE 28210,GNSE 38300,PHIL 35209,LAWS 43273,PHIL 25209

RETH 36002. The Ethics of War: Foundational Texts. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Richard Miller     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Prior work in philosophy or political theory recommended but not required.

RETH 43302. The Ethics of Belief. 100 Units.

This seminar will examine authors who ask: Is religious belief and practice good for its adherents and for society more generally?   We will examine critics who pose normative questions about religious belief and practice, focusing on thinkers ranging from the early modern European period to the early part of the twentieth century.   Throughout the course, we will explore how religion is theorized in the critical discourses surrounding it.  Authors include Las Casas, Locke, Hume, Schleiermacher, Marx, James, Freud, Dewey, and DuBois. 

Instructor(s): Richard Miller     Terms Offered: Winter

RETH 43900. Religion and Democracy. 100 Units.

This seminar critically examines theories of democracy, democratic rights, and democratic virtues, focusing on the proper and improper place of religious discourse and practice in democratic public life and culture.  Power, sovereignty, liberty, authority, public reason, political obligation, and religion are among the concepts to be interrogated. 

Instructor(s): Richard Miller     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prior work in theology, philosophy, political theory, or religious ethics recommended but not required.

RETH 44802. Contemporary Political and Social Ethics. 100 Units.

This is the first of a two-quarter seminar that focuses on theorizations of justice in North American religion and philosophy.  Over the arc of both quarters, we will examine theories of distributive justice, cultural rights, democratic theory, human rights, gender equity, religion and politics, and obligations to the environment.

Instructor(s): Richard Miller     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prior work in philosophy or political theory recommended but not required.

RETH 45102. Religion, Medicine, and Ethics. 100 Units.

This course surveys the contributions of leading figures in mainstream bioethics along with new voices in the field.  We will examine authors who have shaped academic writing and public policy in the United States along with the recent efflorescence of bioethics in different cultural contexts.  Key topics include human experimentation, death and dying, organ transplantation, medicine and social justice, alternative healing practices, and reproductive technologies.  These issues link up with ideas about the body, identity, freedom, gender, and visions of human welfare. Sources draw from Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and western philosophical materials.  

Instructor(s): Richard Miller     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prior work in religious ethics of theology recommended but not required.

RETH 45404. Ethical Issues in Care at the End of Life. 100 Units.

In this course we will delve deeply into topics in the ethics of care at the end of life, reading both classical and contemporary works, on issues including: suffering and the goals of medicine, the withholding and withdrawing of life-sustaining treatments, the distinction between killing and allowing to die, euthanasia and assisted suicide, the medical application of the rule of double-effect, palliative sedation, brain death, organ donation after cardiac death, advance directives, surrogate decision making, therapy, healing, and death, and the ethics of attending to the spiritual needs of dying patients. The class will be conducted in classical seminar style, with students assigned to lead class discussions of particular texts.  Our interdisciplinary conversation will exemplify and provide a context for the interdisciplinary nature of the field of bioethics. The course is open to Law, Medical, and Divinity students.

Instructor(s): Daniel Sulmasy     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LAWS 80405,MEDC 45404

RETH 46502. Comparative Religious Environmental Ethics. 100 Units.

Environmental issues have been studied by religious ethicists of many long-established religious traditions as well as emerging nature religions.  While common themes often emerge in terms of the ethical ideas used (justice, responsibility) or the subjects studied (species extinction, population, water, food, climate change, etc.), religious ethicists draw on a wide range of ethical methods, theories, and sources of authority to develop their environmental ethics. To illustrate this diversity we will explore several ethical methods as applied to environmental ethics.  These approaches may include the use of the Bible, Church teachings, virtue ethics, and natural law theory in Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant environmental ethics; how the Islamic legal tradition can be applied to environmental issues; the use of prayer, meditation, and ethical analysis in Buddhist environmental ethics; the ethics of the nature religion of deep ecology; and/or the quest for a global environmental ethic as expressed in the Earth Charter initiative.

Instructor(s): Sarah Fredericks     Terms Offered: Spring

RETH 47750. Virtue Ethics. 100 Units.

Virtue ethics, one of the major types of normative ethics, involves a study of virtues, character, and the formation of such character.  This course will examine some of the major contributions to the tradition of virtue ethics (e.g. Aristotle, Aquinas), the late twentieth-century revival of virtue ethics (e.g. MacIntyre, comparative studies of virtue across religious and philosophical traditions), and its flourishing in environmental ethics. 

Instructor(s): Sarah Fredericks     Terms Offered: Spring

RETH 50706. Enhancing Life: Theological and Ethical Dimensions. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar is an examination, theologically and ethically, of the question of “enhancing life” and some of the strategies proposed to do so. Topics to be address include, among others, medical and technological enhancement; the status of appeals to “nature” as a norm for assessing the enhancing of life; the question about the grounds and validity of obligations to future generations in the face of technological cognitive and non-cognitive enhancement; and theological conceptions of human perfection and enhancement.

Instructor(s): William Schweiker     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Previous doctoral work in theology or ethics required.
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 50706

RETH 51301. Law-Philosophy Workshop. 100 Units.

The theme for 2017-18 is “Animal Rights and Environmental Ethics.”  About half of the sessions will discuss philosophical and legal issues related to animal rights, and the other half will discuss issues of environmental ethics, focusing on the ethics of climate change.  This is a seminar/workshop many of whose participants are faculty from various related disciplines.  It admits approximately ten students.  Its aim is to study, each year, a topic that arises in both philosophy and the law and to ask how bringing the two fields together may yield mutual illumination. Most sessions are led by visiting speakers, from either outside institutions or our own faculty, who circulate their papers in advance.  The session consists of a brief introduction by the speaker, followed by initial questioning by the two faculty coordinators, followed by general discussion, in which students are given priority. Several sessions involve students only, and are led by the instructors.  Students write a 20-25 page seminar paper at the end of the year.  The course satisfies the Law School Substantial Writing Requirement.

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum; N. Delon     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Students are admitted by permission of the two instructors. They should submit a c.v. and a statement (reasons for interest in the course, relevant background in law and/or philosophy) to the instructors by email by September 20. Usual participants include graduate students in philosophy, political science, and divinity, and law students.
Note(s): Students must enroll for all three quarters to receive credit.
Equivalent Course(s): LAWS 61512,GNSE 50101,HMRT 51301,PLSC 51512,PHIL 51200

RETH 51516. Henry Sidgwick. 100 Units.

The most philosophically explicit and rigorous of the British Utilitarians, Henry Sidgwick made important contributions to normative ethics, political philosophy, and metaethics.  His work also has important implication for law.  His great work The Methods of Ethics, which will be the primary focus of this seminar, has been greatly admired even by those who deeply disagree with it – for example John Rawls, for whom Sidgwick was important both as a source and as a foil, and Bernard Williams, who wrote about him with particular hostility.  Sidgwick provides the best defense of Utilitarianism we have, allowing us to see what it really looks like as a normative ethical and social theory. Sidgwick was also a practical philosopher and activist, writing on many topics, but especially on women’s higher education, which he did much to pioneer at Cambridge University, founding Newnham College with his wife Eleanor.  A rationalist who helped to found the Society for Psychical Research, an ardent feminist who defended the ostracism of the “fallen woman,” a closeted gay man who attempted to justify the proscriptions of Victorian morality, Sidgwick is a philosopher full of deep tensions and fascinating contradictions, which work their way into his arguments.  So we will also read the work In the context of Sidgwick’s contorted relationship with his era. (I) (IV)

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): 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.
Note(s): Admission by permission of the instructor. Permission must be sought in writing by September 15.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 51516,LAWS 53396,PHIL 51516

RETH 51802. Climate Change Ethics. 100 Units.

Anthropogenic climate change is the largest challenge facing human civilization.  Its physical and temporal scale and unprecedented complexity at minimum require extensions of existing ethical systems, if not new ethical tools.  This course will begin by examining natural and social-scientific studies of climate change and its current and predicted effects (e.g. the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Stern Review).  Most of the course will examine how religious and philosophical ethical systems respond to the vast temporal and spatial scales of climate change and its inherent uncertainties.  For instance, common principles of environmental ethics such as justice and responsibility are often reimagined in climate ethics.  We will also explore the degree to which the assumptions of many modern Western ethical systems including linear causality, an emphasis on individuals, and purely rational decision-making foster or inhibit climate ethics.  In the course, we will take a comparative approach to environmental ethics, examining perspectives from secular Western philosophy, Christianity (Catholic and Protestant), Buddhist, and Islamic thought.

Instructor(s): Sarah Fredericks

RETH 52104. Augustine, Kierkegaard, and the Problem of Love. 100 Units.

This advanced seminar will examine how Augustine and Kierkegaard theorized about the virtues and obligations of love, focusing on their respective theologies, moral psychologies, and normative accounts of interpersonal relationships.  We will also examine how their ideas about love served as a basis for their political and cultural criticism.  To sharpen our analyses of the primary sources, we will read influential receptions and interpretations of their works by Hannah Arendt and M. Jaime Ferreira. 

Instructor(s): Richard Miller     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Background in Philosophy or Theology recommended but not required.

RETH 54900. Reformation Ethics: Freedom and Justification. 100 Units.

This is an advanced seminar for students in theology and ethics. Given the worldwide celebration this year of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this seminar will explore seminal texts by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Menno Simons as well as their critics, Catholic and contemporary. The seminar will proceed through close reading of texts and discussion. Reading knowledge of German and/or French helpful but not required. Each seminar participant will lead a session of the seminar and write a seminar paper.

Instructor(s): William Schweiker     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Previous doctoral work in theology or ethics required.
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 54900

RETH 57715. Brauer Seminar: Gender and Sexuality in the Study of Religion. 100 Units.

Our seminar is a team-taught, interdisciplinary graduate level course focusing on gender and sexuality in the study of religion.  Our aim is to provide theoretical concepts, tools and methods for students to analyze gender and sexuality across a variety of religious traditions, historical periods and literary genres.  Divided into three parts – philosophy and psychoanalysis, anthropology and ethics, the course proceeds according to the areas of specialty offered by participating faculty members.  Topics covered include the following:  structuralist and poststructuralist approaches to sexual difference, political economy of sex, performativity theory, sociology of labor, race, sex and empire. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo, Sarah Hammerschlag, Sarah Fredericks     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 57715,RLVC 57715,AASR 57715

Divinity - Special Courses in Divinity Courses

DVSC 30100. Intro Relig/Human Sciences. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

DVSC 30200. Intro: Historical Studies in Religion. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

DVSC 30300. Introduction to Constructive Studies. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

DVSC 30400. Introduction to the Study of Religion. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Sarah Hammerschlag     Terms Offered: Autumn 2016-2017
Prerequisite(s): This is the supporting course required of all AMRS / MA / MDIV students. Discussion groups will be held.

DVSC 42000. Divinity School: German Reading Exam. 000 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

DVSC 45100. Reading Course Special Topic. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Petition with bibliography signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

DVSC 49900. Exam Preparation: Divinity. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to PhD students in quarter of qualifying exams. Department consent. petition signed by Advisor.

DVSC 50100. Research: Divinity. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Petition signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

DVSC 51000. Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Angie Heo and Kevin Hector     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Open to first year PhD students in Divinity.

DVSC 59900. Thesis Work: Divinity. 100 Units.

For course description contact Divinity.

Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Petition signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

DVSC 70000. Advanced Study: Divinity. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Petition signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.
Note(s): Petition signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

Divinity - Theology Courses

THEO 30200. History Christian Thought-2. 100 Units.

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 analyzed 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.

Instructor(s): Willemien Otten     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 30200,HIST 31902

THEO 30300. History of Christian Thought III. 100 Units.

This course covers the early modern era from the 14th through the 16th century. The emphasis is on intellectual history, particularly that of the reformation and the Council of Trent. The course includes readings from 14th century mystics and late-medieval dissidents such as John Hus, Luther, Zwingli and Calvin, as well as Ignatius of Loyola and the Council of Trent.

Instructor(s): Susan Schreiner     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 30300

THEO 30400. History of Christian Thought- IV. 100 Units.

A survey of major figures and movements in European Christian thought from the late 17th through the 18th centuries.

Instructor(s): Ryan Coyne
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 30400

THEO 30700. History of Christian Thought V: Modern Religious Thought. 100 Units.

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

Instructor(s): Kevin Hector     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 30900

THEO 31100. History of Theological Ethics I. 100 Units.

This is the first part of a two-part history.  It is conducted through the study of basic, classic texts. The course moves from the philosophical ethics of the Greek and Roman worlds through strands of Hebrew scripture, the origins of the Christian movement, the end of the Roman age to the emergence of Islam, and, finally, Christian and Jewish scholastic and mystical thought in the Western middle ages. While the golden thread of the history is the origin and differentiation of Christian moral thinking, this is set within with the complexity of traditions (Hellenistic philosophical, Jewish, Islamic) that intersect and often collide throughout these formative century in Western thought. The course proceeds by lectures and discussion. Most readings are in translation. There will be a final examination. No previous work in theology, philosophy, or ethics is required but it is suggested.

Instructor(s): William Schweiker     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 31100

THEO 31200. History of Theological Ethics II. 100 Units.

This is the second part of a two-part history.  It is conducted through the study of basic, classic texts. The course begins with the tumultuous period of the Reformation and the Renaissance arising from the so-called Middle Ages and so attention to rebirth of classical thought, the plight of women in the medieval world, various religious voices, and the rise of cities and even nations. The course then moves into the emergence of distinctly “modern” forms of ethics in the “Enlightenment,” through the romantic period and to the political, economic, and religious crises of the 20th century. The history ends with the emergence in the global field of the power interaction of the religions. While the golden thread of the history is the development and differentiation of Christian moral thinking, this is set within the complexity of traditions that intersect and often collide through centuries in Western thought. The course proceeds by lectures and discussion. Most readings are in translation. There will be a final examination. No previous work in theology, philosophy, or ethics is required but is suggested.

Instructor(s): William Schweiker     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 31200

THEO 31600. Introduction to Theology. 100 Units.

This course is designed to introduce students to the language, controversies, and figures of theology, and to encourage students to improve their own theologizing by considering its public relevance, intelligibility, and justifiability.

Instructor(s): Kevin Hector     Terms Offered: Spring

THEO 33812. Descartes on the Self and God, and His Opponents. 100 Units.

On the basis of Meditations on First Philosophy, with Objections and Replies, one will study how Descartes’s positions were understood both by his contemporaries (Hobbes, Pascal, etc.) as well as by later philosophers (Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, etc.). Emphasis will be put on the misunderstandings of the ego, of the so-called “dualism” and of the definitions of God.

Instructor(s): Jean-Luc Marion     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 33812

THEO 34806. Augustine's On the Trinity. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Ryan Coyne     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 34806

THEO 35350. Cultivation of Character in Jewish Moral/Spiritual Literature. 100 Units.

This course will survey classical texts and practices in Jewish religious literature from antiquity to the modern period.  Selections will include key portions from: Book of Proverbs; Ethics of the Fathers; Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan; Dererch Eretz; Maimonides’ ‘Eight Chapters’; Bachya ben Asher’s moral proems; Asher ben Yechiel’s ‘Orchot Hayyim’; Moshe Cordovero’s ‘Tomer Devorah’; Jewish Ethical Wills (diverse periods); Tracts of Spritual Practices (Safed and modern Hasidism); Moshe Hayyim Luzatto, ‘Mesilat Yesharim’.  Contemporary literature on moral and spiritual self-formation and practice will be considered; and pertinent comparisons will be made to classical Catholic sources.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Texts in Hebrew with English translations.
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 35350

THEO 40102. Womanist Theology: 1st Generation. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Dwight Hopkins     Terms Offered: Autumn

THEO 40500. Black Theology: 1st Generation. 100 Units.

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?

Instructor(s): Dwight Hopkins     Terms Offered: Autumn

THEO 40600. Black Theology: 2nd Generation. 100 Units.

Contemporary black theology, with its beginnings on July 31, 1966, was created by African American clergy who offered one interpretation of the new black consciousness movement of the 1960s.  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.  The course examines the 2nd generation of black theologians, starting with 1979.  As the new body of knowledge progressed, thinkers saw the necessity to clarify its conceptual, theoretical, and theological positions.  An entire body of literature, over half a century of writing, has arisen defining the methodological contours of this USA creation.  This course explores the responses and critiques internal to black theology.  Specifically, with a firm foundation set by the 1st generation of black religious scholars (1960s), we will now review the 2nd generation (1979 onward).  How did this discipline seek to correct itself with debate among the 2nd generation of black theologians?

Instructor(s): Dwight Hopkins     Terms Offered: Spring

THEO 41101. Being Human. 100 Units.

What does it mean to be a human being—a person who fulfills individual capabilities and contributes to a community’s well being? Furthermore, what connects the individual and community to an ultimate vision, spirituality, or God? These questions and investigations can be described as an examination of and argument for constructing a theological anthropology. When one thinks intentionally about the being of a human and his or her ties to some concern or force greater than the limited self, then transcendence and materiality involve themselves in a complex dynamic. How does one construct an individual and a community of individuals? We investigate different models of being human and bring in other disciplines to help unpack this notion.

Instructor(s): Dwight Hopkins     Terms Offered: Spring

THEO 42000. Feminist Theory and Theology. 100 Units.

In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe took up the old question of sexual difference; it was never the same question again. This seminar will engage a close reading of The Second Sex in English translation and with reference to the original French text, considering Beauvoir’s picture of freedom, desire, and subjectivity as situated and giving special attention to quasi-theological themes such as mysticism and transcendence. We will consider the reception of Beauvoir’s work by selected feminist theologians and critically assess that legacy in relation to recent directions.

Instructor(s): Kristine Culp     Terms Offered: Spring

THEO 42610. Theology from the Underside of History. 100 Units.

This course compares and contrasts various systems and methods in contemporary Third World theologies, that is, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As a backdrop for this critical comparative engagement, we will use the recent theological dialogues taking place in the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT). As we engage these systems of thought, we want to examine the logic of their theologies and the sources used to construct theology.

Instructor(s): Dwight Hopkins     Terms Offered: Autumn

THEO 43101. The Catholic Reformation. 100 Units.

This course analyzes early modern Catholicism and covers the years from 1400-1600.  The readings include treatises on the nature of the church, the role of dissent, the polemics against the Protestants, and the spirituality of this era.  The requirement for the course is a take-home examination.

Instructor(s): Susan Schreiner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 43101

THEO 43302. Contemporary Theological Anthropologies. 100 Units.

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

Instructor(s): Kevin Hector     Terms Offered: Autumn

THEO 43303. Contemporary Christologies. 100 Units.

This course will examine a variety of recent Christologies, paying special attention to their handling of science, history, politics, and context.

Instructor(s): Kevin Hector     Terms Offered: Spring

THEO 43501. Contemporary Models of Theology. 100 Units.

This course compares and contrasts various systems and methods in contemporary theology. By contemporary, we mean theological developments in the U.S.A. from the late 1960s to the present. Specifically, we reflect critically on the following models: progressive liberal, post liberal, black theology, feminist theology, womanist theology, postcolonial theology, and theology and economics. As we engage these systems of thought, we want to examine the logic of their theologies and the sources used to construct theology.

Instructor(s): Dwight Hopkins     Terms Offered: Autumn

THEO 44601. Renaissance and Reformation. 100 Units.

This class examines points of convergence and divergence during the era of the Renaissance and the Reformation spanning the time between Cusa and Bruno. The issues analyzed will go beyond strictly theological debates. We will examine views of reason and human nature, the revival of Platonism, the rise of historical thought, the study of law and philology, and the implications regarding the development of perspective on both thought and art. We will also examine the role of rhetoric, poetry, and moral philosophy; the rise of skepticism, the appeal to certitude, curriculum reform, and the reform of art as exemplified by Michelangelo.

Instructor(s): Susan Schreiner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 44600

THEO 44704. Womanist Theology: New Voices. 100 Units.

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 of womanist 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 recent 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.

Instructor(s): Dwight Hopkins     Terms Offered: Spring 2016-17

THEO 44804. Virginity and the Body in Late Antiquity & Early Middle Ages. 100 Units.

What did virginity mean to Christians in Late Antiquity, and how did this change and develop in the early medieval period?  What notions of the body and bodilyness did an ideal of virginity encourage and support?  We will begin by reading Peter Brown's classic, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity, together with some of the primary sources Brown uses to make his case, and selected recent studies.  We will take this theme into the early Middle Ages through a reading of monastic rules, hagiographies, and other texts.

Instructor(s): Lucy Pick     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 60606,GNSE 44804,HCHR 44804

THEO 44900. Martin Buber's I and Thou. 100 Units.

Martin Buber's I and Thou. An analysis of the foundational text of Buber's philosophy of dialogue and religion.The close reading - explication de texte -- will supplement by reference to Buber's lectures "Religion as Presence" and "Zwiesprache" (Dialogue).

Instructor(s): Paul Mendes-Flohr     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 44900

THEO 47717. Augustine Confessions. 100 Units.

This seminar is based an in-depth reading of the Confessions, with use of the Latin text. Topics to be covered will be determined by consensus during the first week, but they may include the genesis of the work in relation to Augustine’s life and literary oeuvre (e.g. vis-à-vis the partly contemporary De Doctrina and De Trinitate); its structure (including the relationship between books I-X and XI-XIII) and narrative technique; its meditative versus dialogical character; Augustine’s representation of the self and his method of Biblical exegesis; Manichean and Neoplatonic influences; and ancient (Pelagius) and postmodern readings of the Confessions (Lyotard, Marion).  Once-weekly meetings will consist of discussions, lectures, and reports. 

Instructor(s): W. Otten and P. White     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 47717,HIST 64301,LATN 47717

THEO 48806. Creation and Human Creatures: Theological Explorations. 100 Units.

How have creatures and “nature” or “creation” served as reference points—symbols, exemplars, even counter-examples—for interpreting divine creation and transformation? Exploration will include the enduring theological themes of human creatures as the imago dei or image of God and of nature as a mirror or image of God’s providence and majesty. Can such historical theological strategies inform contemporary concerns about the enhancement and endangerment of life? Readings may include the Psalms, John Calvin on creation and providence, 18th and 19th century American writings about the glory of God and the glory of creation, Langdon Gilkey on creation, recent feminist works on vulnerability and materiality.

Instructor(s): Kristine Culp

THEO 50115. Seminar on the Black Notebooks:Heidegger & the Problem of Evil. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Ryan Coyne     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 50115

THEO 50211. Between Theology and Sociology: Ernest Troeltsch, H. Richard Niebuhr, Paul Tillich. 100 Units.

In the history of the scientific study of religion we find intense processes of mutual exchange between sociology and theology. They go far beyond a mere use of the other discipline as a source of information about society or religion. This course deals with three of the most important figures in this intellectual history: Ernest Troeltsch, whose epochal achievements have become overshadowed by the writings of his friend and rival Max Weber; H. Richard Niebuhr, the often neglected younger brother of the famous Reinhold, who, after having written a dissertation on Troeltsch, developed his crucial contributions on American religion and the tensions between "Christ and Culture"; and Paul Tillich who connected German and American intellectual traditions and became one of the most influential theologians ever including his role as inspiration for the lifework of the sociologist Robert Bellah.

Instructor(s): Hans Joas     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course taught the first five weeks of the quarter - autumn 2018, twice a week.
Prerequisite(s): Graduate seminar - grads only
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 50107,SCTH 50211

THEO 50706. Enhancing Life: Theological and Ethical Dimensions. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar is an examination, theologically and ethically, of the question of “enhancing life” and some of the strategies proposed to do so. Topics to be address include, among others, medical and technological enhancement; the status of appeals to “nature” as a norm for assessing the enhancing of life; the question about the grounds and validity of obligations to future generations in the face of technological cognitive and non-cognitive enhancement; and theological conceptions of human perfection and enhancement.

Instructor(s): William Schweiker     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Previous doctoral work in theology or ethics required.
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 50706

THEO 51510. Idolatry: Historical and Modern Perspectives. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the concept of idolatry as formulated in the Reformation disputes. We will analyze the way idolatry was understood by Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. We will also look at the occurrences of iconoclasm and religious violence in the 16th century; at the development of the concept of the modern ideas of idolatry, partly as a legacy of Francis Bacon; and at the view of idolatry in Karl Barth, Jacques Ellul and Nicholas Lash.

Instructor(s): Susan Schreiner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 51510

THEO 51610. The Meanings of “Theology”: Introduction to the History of the Concepts. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): J. Marion     Terms Offered: Spring

THEO 51611. Reading of Saint Augustine's The City of God as an Apology. 100 Units.

The particular characteristics and special concern of this special book, compared to the rest of Augustine's production, can well, if not only be explained by referring the whole De Civitate Dei to the tradition of the "Apology for the Christians", initiated by (among some few others) Justin in Rome, and rehearsed a century later by Tertullian in Africa.  Bibliography:  De Civitate Dei, ed. B. Dombart (either in Teubner, or in "Corpus Christianorum".  Concerning the City of God against the Pagans, trans. H. Benttenson, Penguin Books, 1972.  J.-L. Marion, In the Self's Place. The approach of saint Augustine, trans. J.L. Kosky, Stanford University Press, 2012 (Au lieu de soi. Approche de saint Augustin, Paris, PUF, 2008)

Instructor(s): Jean-Luc Marion     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 51611

THEO 53309. Saint Augustine: Apology and Eschatology, The City of God. 100 Units.

The City of God, although central to the theology of St. Augustine, does not seem, in his style and themes, exactly on line with his other greatest works. This can be explained if we read it as a follow up of the former attempts to perform theology as an apology – according to Justin and Tertullian (among others).  In that view, one can understand better why and how St. Augustine has addressed political and historical as well as spiritual and biblical issues – they all focus on explaining how time (and times) should be understood from the view point of the eternity of God, which means eschatology.

Instructor(s): Jean-Luc Marion     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Recommended reading:,The City of God, trans. H. Bettenson, Penguin, 2003.,De Civitate Dei, eds. G.E. McCracken et al, Loeb, 7 Volumes <these volumes are available online via Hathi Trust at Regenstein Library>
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 53309

THEO 54900. Reformation Ethics: Freedom and Justification. 100 Units.

This is an advanced seminar for students in theology and ethics. Given the worldwide celebration this year of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this seminar will explore seminal texts by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Menno Simons as well as their critics, Catholic and contemporary. The seminar will proceed through close reading of texts and discussion. Reading knowledge of German and/or French helpful but not required. Each seminar participant will lead a session of the seminar and write a seminar paper.

Instructor(s): William Schweiker     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Previous doctoral work in theology or ethics required.
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 54900

THEO 57103. Theological Criticism: Christology. 100 Units.

The seminar on theological criticism aims to explore the problem of how constructive theology can best make use of historical sources and do so in responsible fashion. While simply adhering to one’s confessional tradition yields uncritical positions, an eclectic attitude towards historical sources may not be a wise alternative. Without forcing theologians to become historians, this seminar deals with the larger issue of how to select and use one’s source material in such a way that the historical work is methodologically sound and the theological end product accessible and informative, while remaining properly constructive. The seminar concentrates especially but not exclusively on the use of premodern sources but other, later sources will also be brought to the discussion. As the seminar is in large part student-driven, students are invited to bring in sources of their choice to the table as well. This year’s theological critical focus will be on Christology and is loosely structured around Kathryn Tanner’s Christ the Key. Authors to be included are Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Aquinas, Eckhart, Calvin, Schleiermacher, Barth, Rahner.

Instructor(s): Willemien Otten     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 66003,HCHR 51703

THEO 58804. Seminar: Dissertation Methodology. 100 Units.

A two-week seminar on the methodology of advanced research and writing for Ph.D. students in the dissertation stage of their program.  Each student will present a selection from their current work, with special additional discussion focused on the concept of revelation related to their dissertation topics, followed by a response from Prof. Marion and a discussion-format critique.  The presentations will be reserved primarily for students in ABD status.  Those not yet dissertating but in the final stage of their qualifying exams and proposal submissions are encouraged to engage in the discussion portion of the seminar

Instructor(s): Jean-Luc Marion     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): The seminar will be scheduled over 2-3 hour sessions each week from January 24 to February 2, 2017. Some sessions may be evening or weekend hours to accommodate all participants. Enrollment by application to Dean Owens.
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 58804