Current Undergraduate Courses

ARBC: Arabic

Winter 2017

ARBC101 Introduction to the Grammar and Vocabulary of Classic Arabic Sections

ARBC102 Introduction to the Grammar and Vocabulary of Classic Arabic II Sections

ARBC201 Classical Arabic (Intermediate) I Sections

Increased reading ability as well as learning the further essentials of grammar.

ARBC202 Classical Arabic (Intermediate) II Sections

Increased reading ability as well as learning the further essentials of grammar. Continuation of ARBC 201.

CLST: Classical Studies Undergraduate Courses

Winter 2017

CLST105 Greek and Roman Mythology Sections

Greek and Roman mythology and its interpretation. Emphasis on ancient texts read in English translation.

Classical Studies 105 offers a broad introduction to the vibrant world of Greek and Roman mythology and its influence today. Because myth touched every aspect of ancient life, this course will also shed light on the literature, art, and lived experience of the Greeks and Romans. The goals of the course are to familiarize students with the myths, with the primary texts in which they are told, with the place of myth-telling in ancient culture, and to introduce students to the chief interpretive theories of myth that have been developed over the past century. The course also touches on the transformation of ancient myths in modern storytelling. Emphasis will be placed on reading primary sources in English translation, and as a result students will become familiar with a variety of ancient literary genres. This course also develops valuable transferable skills in academic reading and writing. Prerequisites: None. (No prior knowledge of the...

CLST110 Golden Age of Athens Sections

The history and culture, values, and achievements of fifth-century Athens.

This course concentrates on the remarkable political and cultural achievements of fifth century Athens addressing topics such as the development of democracy and how it functioned, the meaning of citizenship, gender and sexuality, social values and daily life, and the role of drama, art, and architecture in Athenian society. We will examine how some of the basic tenets of western culture were established during this formative period of European history, while also reflecting on how the culture and society of ancient Athens differed from our own. Prerequisites: None

CLST111 Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome Sections

The history and culture, values, and achievements of Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome.

CLST 111 Introduction to the history, culture, society of ancient Rome, with a focus on the period between 63 BCE and 14 CE, covering the collapse of the Roman Republic, the dictatorship of Julius Caesar, and the reign of Augustus. Special attention will be paid to literature and art.

CLST204 Gods, Graves, and Goods: The Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome Sections

A survey of the material cultures of the pre-classical and classical civilizations of Greece and Rome, illustrating the principles and techniques used to illuminate the archaeological history of these civilizations.

This course will provide an introduction to Greek and Roman archaeology, from roughly 1000 BCE to CE 600. The course will place particular emphasis on the different types of evidence for our knowledge about the material culture of Greek and Roman antiquity. Two-thirds of the course will deal with such topics as the history of classical archaeology, how sites get buried and how they are discovered, and we will also consider how both sites and artefacts are dated. Topics covered in this section will include aerial photography, field survey, geophysical prospection, environmental archaeology, the role of science in archaeology, and underwater archaeology, and we will also consider the importance of pottery, coins and inscriptions for the study of classical archaeology. The last third of the course will deal first with an introduction first to Greek archaeology, and then to Roman. The approach within each will be topical rather than chronological:...

CLST211 Greek Philosophy I Sections

The Pre-Socratics; Socrates; Sophists; Plato. Recommended as preparation for CLST/PHIL 212 and PHIL 310.

The Presocratics; Socrates; Sophists. CLST 211 “The unexamined life is not worth living”: this is how the seminal Athenian philosopher Socrates explained his way of life to the jury that sentenced him. How did this attitude – and with it the complex of Western philosophy, medicine and science – first emerge in ancient Greece? In this course, we will piece together fragmentary evidence for the birth of rational speculation between the poets Homer and Hesiod (8th century BC) and Plato and Aristotle (4th century BC). Along the way, we will encounter the original articulations of Greece’s most enduring and provocative ideas. Textbook: John Cooper, Pursuits of Wisdom (Princeton, 2012). Cross-Listed as PHIL 211A Prerequisites: None

CLST212 Greek Philosophy II Sections

Aristotle; selections from Hellenistic and Late Antique Philosophy. Recommended as preparation for PHIL 310 and PHIL 311.

Plato; Aristotle; selections from Hellenistic Philosophy. Is it possible to be sure that we are living a good human life, come what may? What would it be like to “succeed at” being a human being, at being ourselves? In the period under consideration in this course (c. 399 BCE–c. 529 CE), the nascent traditions of Greek logic, science, and ethics were turned to the exploration of such fundamental questions as these and spread across the Mediterranean world in the wake of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire, laying the groundwork for the subsequent development of Western intellectual history. Over this term, we will study Aristotle, the great Hellenistic schools of ancient Athens (Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics) and the later ancient synthesis of Greek philosophy under the banner of Plato (Neoplatonism), and their influence on subsequent thought. Focus: Aristotle, Stoics, Epicureans, Skeptics, and Neoplatonists (4th century BCE-3rd century CE). Prerequisites: None: Students...

CLST231 Ancient Greece Sections

A survey of the ancient Greek world from the Minoan and Mycenaean (about 2000-1000 BCE) to the Hellenistic Period (323-30 BCE).

Why are Greeks still today, just like their ancient ancestors, known for their shipping companies and business interests? Why were ancient Greeks apparently always warring among themselves and with others? Was democracy the most common form of government in ancient Greek communities? If not, why not, and what was the most common form of government? Is the “Greek Miracle” the best lens today through which to understand the development of the ancient Greeks?  The answers to these and other topical questions of our times can be found in studying ancient Greek history. Come and explore them with me. Prerequisites: None


CLST232 Ancient Rome Sections

A survey of the ancient Roman world from the foundation of the city to the death of Constantine.

"There can surely be nobody so petty or so apathetic in his outlook that he has no desire to discover by what means and under what system of government the Romans succeeded in less than fifty-three years in bringing under their rule almost the whole of the inhabited world, an achievement which is without parallel in human history." - Polybius, Universal History 1.1.5 A survey of the ancient Roman world. The course consists of a series of lectures on the world of Rome from the foundation of the city to the death of Constantine. Lectures treat the Roman monarchy, the foundation of the Roman republic and its expansion, the social, economic and political problems that led to its fall, the reorganization of government under Augustus, and the Roman empire under the emperors. Brief consideration of the reforms of Diocletian and the unsolved problem of the decline of the Roman...

CLST260 Gladiators, Games, and Spectacle in the Greek and Roman World Sections

History, development, and social function of various forms of spectacle in ancient Greece and Rome, from the Olympic games to the Roman arena.

Fame and shame. Blood and guts. Glory and death. Ancient games and spectacles promised all these and more to the people of ancient Greece and Rome. Spectacles united societies and divided them too. Ancient fans fanatically supported their favourites, but rivalries sometimes led to riots. Ranging from the competitions at the Olympic games in Greece to the spectacles of the Roman Coliseum and the Circus Maximus, this course will examine how spectacles and games functioned in the ancient world, their costs and rewards, and the costs to the humans and animals caught up in them. Over the course of the semester we will investigate the how and why of ancient games, the mechanics of how they were staged and organized, and who fought and competed in them. Prerequisites: None  

CLST301 The Technical Terms of Medicine and Biological Science Sections

Acquaints the student with the Greek and Latin elements from which most specialized terms of modern medicine are constructed. Intended primarily for students planning to enter the medical, pharmaceutical, or biological sciences.

Classical Studies 301 helps students understand the Greek and Latin elements which are used in medical and biological terminology: students learn how to deconstruct medical and biological terminology into ordinary English so that they can easily understand and remember the language of biology and medicine. Students also learn the principles behind the construction of the terminology. The course is designed primarily for science students, particularly those in the biological or pre-medical fields, but students from other areas of study are also very welcome. No knowledge of the Greek or Latin languages is required, and no knowledge of anatomy or physiology is required.  The course additionally provides relevant material from ancient literary, mythological, historical, and medical sources, in order to furnish a cultural context for the elements under discussion. The course is offered both on-campus and on-line in both the fall and winter terms, and both cover the same vocabulary. For the on-campus...

CLST306 Applied Science and Technology in Classical Antiquity Sections

The origins and achievements of applied technology in the Greek and Roman world from the Bronze Age to late Antiquity, with special attention to archaeological evidence.

CLST307 Greek Law Sections

The study of Greek legal theory, practice, and institutions from their origin in self-help, through the early lawgivers and their codes, to the developed system of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries. A variety of test cases from the works of the Greek orators will be explored.

CLST312 Women in the Roman World of Republican and Imperial Times Sections

Women in the Roman world in the culture of the Republic and the Empire. Literary, artistic, and mythological sources are compared and contrasted to historical, legal, and archaeological records.

CLST 312 Matron, Mother, Mistress, Merchant, Murderer. Women played a variety of roles in ancient Roman society and in this course we will examine the evidence that we have for women’s lives as well as how they were perceived by their male contemporaries and what value to society they were believed to have. Through a critical analysis of the material and visual culture and inscriptional, legal, and literary sources we will explore the realities and ambiguities of Roman women’s lives from imperial wives to household slaves and also consider the roots of modern conceptions and perceptions of women in the Western world today. Prerequisites: Second-year standing or above.

CLST313 Greek Epic Sections

Homer's <i>Iliad</i> and <i>Odyssey</i>, in translation.

CLST 313-002 (Term 1;  C. Johnson) This course explores the nature and import of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. These works are essential for an understanding of ancient Greek society and are the foundation for all subsequent Greek literature. A close reading in translation will cover such subjects and themes as: Homer as a source of history: Mycenaean, Dark Age and Archaic periods the nature of legend and its relation to history religion and myth: Olympian Pantheon, religious background and worldview oral tradition and formulaic language epic as a genre Homer: who, where, when (Homeric question) The Iliad the nature of war and its impact on society the nature of the hero tragic worldview: gods and mortals human limitation, endurance and nobility The Odyssey immortality: gods and mortals the gods and human morality the nature of the hero and their trials personal loyalty and identity xenia and the continuity of the house (oikos) historical...

CLST317 Classical Tragedy Sections

The plays of the Greek and Roman tragic dramatists, in translation.

This course will guide students through the earliest plays of the European tradition, reading a range of Greek and Roman tragedies in translation. Selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Seneca will be studied in their intellectual, historical, and performance contexts. We will consider how classical tragedy has shaped the whole tradition of Western drama, while paying particular attention to what makes classical tragedy unique, including the chorus, the integration of speech and song, and the innovative use of mythological tradition. We will also study borderline cases between tragedy and comedy, including examples of satyr drama, prosatyric tragedy, and “tragicomedy”, to explore how we define tragedy and the tragic.  

CLST331 Greek Art and Architecture Sections

An introduction to the visual culture of the ancient Greek world in the second and first millennia BCE, especially from c. 1000 to 30 BCE.

This course explores the art and architecture of the Greek world from about 7000 to 30 BCE.  We’ll begin with the first farmers of the Neolithic and the trace the rise of Mycenae, Knossos and other legendary palaces of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations.  We then examine the emergence of the Greek city states, focusing on the great Panhellenic sanctuaries of Olympia and Delphi and, of course, Athens and the famous monuments of its Akropolis and Agora that embody the rise of the world’s first democracy.  We’ll end with the spread of Greek art and architecture eastward with the conquests of Alexander the Great and the powerful Hellenistic kingdoms of his successors.  In each case we’ll consider the social, political, economic and ideological context of Greek material culture, its relationship to identities and the impacts of interactions with other cultures.  We'll also consider the legacy and reception of Greek art...

CLST332 Roman Art and Architecture Sections

An introduction to the visual culture of the ancient Roman world from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE.

CLST 332: Roman Art & Architecture The social, cultural, political, and visual history of Roman art from the eighth century BCE to the fourth century CE.  Topics include the power of images to shape society; identity construction; cultural exchanges and borrowings across the ancient world; the impact of the Roman Empire on local visual traditions; and the complex relationships between subject and representation.

CLST333 Greek Religion Sections

A survey of both traditional and exoteric religious practices from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period. Some knowledge of ancient Greece is recommended.

CLST353 The Early Roman Empire Sections

Roman imperial history during the Julio-Claudian and Flavian periods (30 BC-96 AD).

The course focuses upon the Roman empire during the first century AD following its consolidation by the founding emperors Augustus and Tiberius. The performance of certain of their successors is discussed. But the emphasis is upon social, administrative and economic themes. There is investigation of how the provinces and cities of the empire were taxed and governed, and of how certain significant services were provided such as transport and supply of food staples. The nature and values of society are probed through exploration of such varied topics as the status and role of slaves and ex-slaves; the work undertaken by men and women; entertainment; and Roman funeral and burial practices. The fascinating world of Rome is likely to emerge as both less familiar, and more impenetrable and mysterious, than might have been anticipated. Sensitive exploitation of original source material, both literary and non-literary (all in translation), is an important element throughout....

CLST355 The Athenians and their Empire Sections

The sources (literary, epigraphical and other) for Athens' emergence as one of the two leading city-states in late archaic and classical Greece and the stages by which her empire grew.

Classical Studies 355 (CLST 355 [3]): The Athenians and their Empire The sources (literary, epigraphical and other) for Athens’ emergence as one of the two leading city-states in late archaic and classical Greece and the stages which her empire grew. Prerequisite: CLST 231.   Aims of this course: examine the history and nature of the Athenian Empire gain familiarity with ancient sources of the period and some contemporary scholarship ancient and modern perspectives and representation: how history is imagined and created (affected by ideology and ontology) the nature, objectivity and purpose of history   consider the following: the development and nature of the empire from the 6th century BCE on competing representations of that empire in ancient and modern sources the empire and its effect on 5th century Greek culture the relationship between the empire and Athenian democracy

CLST356 Alexander the Great and his Empire Sections

The rise of Macedon under Philip II leading to its domination of Greece and the overthrow of the Persian Empire by his son, Alexander; the subsequent spread of Greek civilization in the East.

"I suppose there was no race of men, no city at that time, no single person whom Alexander"s name did not reach." - Arrian,Anabasis 7.30.2.v A study of Alexander the Great: the historical figure, his legend, and his legacy. It begins with his rise, tracing the nature of Macedonia, its culture and previous kings, especially Philip II on whose successes Alexander"s legend was built.This course first examines Alexander"s accession, campaigns and untimely death and places Alexander in his social and historical context.The second part of the course will examine the legacy of Alexander through the history of the Hellenistic kingdoms and the persistence of Greek culture in the East.This course addresses questions of cultural interaction, assimilation, and conquest through the reading of the ancient sources in order to assess Alexander"s achievements and to understand the unique place which he occupies in visions of the classical past. Texts: 1.Romm, J. 2012. The Landmark Arrian:...

CLST402A Seminar in Classical Literature - SEM CLASSCL LIT Sections

Selected topics in Greek or Roman literature, with an emphasis on research. Restricted to majors and honours students in CLST, CLAS, CLAH, ARGR, GRNE, CNRS.

CLST403A Seminar in Classical Art and Archaeology - SEM CLS ART&ARCH Sections

Selected topics in Greek or Roman art and archaeology, with an emphasis on research. Restricted to majors and honours students in CLST, CLAS, CLAH, ARGR, GRNE, CNRS.

CNRS: Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies

Winter 2017

CNRS370 Theories of Myth Sections

Origins, nature, and transmission of myth in the Western tradition, with particular attention devoted to the interpretation of myth from ancient times up to the present. Some background in myth is recommended.

This course will examine the origins, nature and transmission of myth in the Western Tradition. It will devote particular attention to the interpretation of myth from ancient times up to the present day. Modern theorists discussed may, among others, include Freud; Jung; the so-called "Cambridge Ritualists;" N.Frye; J. Campbell; C. Levi-Strauss; R. Girard; W. Burkett; E. Cassirer. Prerequisites: None

CNRS410 The Archaeology of Ancient Cyprus Sections

An overview of the archaeology of ancient Cyprus from the island's initial colonization in the 10th millennium BCE through the period of its rule as part of the Roman Empire (4th century CE).

This course provides an in-depth look at the fascinating past of the island of Cyprus: the legendary birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. Join us and examine the development of Cypriot society from the island’s initial colonization in the 10th millennium BCE through the period of its rule as a province of the Roman Empire in the 4th century CE. We’ll explore a number of themes: new discoveries that are revolutionizing our understanding of the Cypriot Neolithic and the role of Cyprus in the origins and spread of agriculture in the Near East; Cyprus’s rapid transformation from an insular, village-based and largely egalitarian society, to an urbanized “civilization” during the Late Bronze Age; Cyprus’s role in the Late Bronze Age “world system”, in which various societies of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East were increasingly interconnected through trade, warfare, and diplomacy; the emergence and growth of city kingdoms during the early Iron Age, Archaic and...

CNRS449 Honours Essay Sections

GREK: Greek

Winter 2017

GREK101 First-Year Ancient Greek I Sections

An introduction to Classical and Hellenistic Greek, Part I.

First-Year Ancient Greek I This course introduces the elements of classical Greek – the language of Homer, Greek drama and philosophy, and the New Testament. We will study fundamental Greek grammar and vocabulary useful for reading ancient Greek and understanding its influence on modern European languages. Prerequisites: None: Students with no prior knowledge of the subject are welcome.

GREK102 First-Year Ancient Greek II Sections

An introduction to Classical and Hellenistic Greek, Part II.

GREK201 Second-Year Ancient Greek I Sections

Completion of the grammatical foundations of Ancient Greek, Part I.

GREK202 Second-Year Ancient Greek II Sections

Completion of the grammatical foundations of Ancient Greek, Part II; introduction to the reading of unadapted passages of Greek literature.

GREK351 Intermediate Ancient Greek: Prose Sections

Readings in the major authors in Greek Prose.

This course is designed to introduce intermediate students to ancient Greek prose literature; the selection of authors to be read varies each year, but can draw from genres as diverse as history, philosophy, biography, satire, religious texts, or even romance or early science fiction. The works to be read will be entirely unadapted but students will have the assistance of a commentary and lexicon, as well as the support of the instructor, to assist them in making the transition to reading ancient Greek texts. For 2015-16, readings will be drawn from Xenophon’s Anabasis, and the New Testament.

GREK352 Intermediate Ancient Greek: Verse Sections

Readings in the major authors in Greek Verse.

Students will read a complete verse play. This course is designed to equip students with the necessary tools for independent reading of unadapted Greek texts.

GREK401A Greek Prose - GREEK PROSE Sections

Studies in history, philosophy and/or oratory. It is recommended that the corequisite course be completed prior to GREK 401.

GREK 401A/501A: Biography (Xenophon and Plutarch) In this course, we will read some of the earliest Greek attempts to write an account of a person's whole life. We'll start with the first book of Xenophon's Cyropaedia, a biography of the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, which became the model for medieval writings like Machiavelli's The Prince. We'll then move on to two of the Parallel Lives of Plutarch (to be chosen by the class), which compare the lives of some of the greatest figures from Greek and Roman myth and history. We may also read some of Diogenes Laertius's Lives and Gnomai of Eminent Philosophers. We will consider the aims and techniques of the authors, the question of national bias, comparative material from other sources for these biographies, and the reception of these works in modern times and genres.  

GREK402B Greek Verse - GREEK VERSE Sections

Studies in epic, tragedy and/or comedy. It is recommended that the corequisite course be completed prior to GREK 402.

GREK 402B/502B: Greek Tragedy Depending on the interests of the class, we will choose either a complete play to read, or a selection of scenes containing a common theme or element. Possibilities include "comic" scenes in tragedy, a figure such as Apollo or Heracles, or endings (e.g. questions of resolution, expectations, and interpolation). Students enrolled will be consulted by email in November so that class materials will be organized for January. Note: Students may take Greek 402 more than once, since the content varies each year.

HEBR: Hebrew

Winter 2017

HEBR201 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew I Sections

The second year of Biblical Hebrew with emphasis on rapid reading of poetry and prose along with grammar.

HEBR202 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II Sections

The second year of Biblical Hebrew with emphasis on rapid reading of poetry and prose along with grammar.

LATN: Latin

Winter 2016
No LATN course(s) were found for W2016 term.

NEST: Near Eastern Studies

Winter 2016
No NEST course(s) were found for W2016 term.

RELG: Religious Studies

Winter 2017

RELG101 Introduction to the Western (Abrahamic) Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Sections

An overview of the three main western monotheistic (Abrahamic) religions, together with the concepts used in studying religion, The focus will be on the origins and representative texts along with some historical development and current experience of each religion.

RELG201 Near Eastern and Biblical Mythology Sections

An introduction to the world of Near Eastern mythology, from the Gilgamesh Epic to the Book of Genesis and beyond.

In this course we will probe the distinct but related corpora of biblical and ancient Near Eastern “mythologies.” The focus will be on Mesopotamian literature (i.e., literary texts that are the products of ancient Iraq), though we will also examine biblical texts, particularly those that demonstrate influence from Mesopotamia. Both sets of texts shed light on the cultures that produced them, and we will explore how these texts both reveal and conceal aspects of their respective cultures. We will also consider the ways in which media (i.e., the physical material that scribes used to write these texts) and context (e.g., literary, religious, archaeological, social, etc.) contribute toward our understanding of this ancient material. Although our main focus will be on what these texts might have meant to their ancient audiences, we will also reflect on their continued influence on modern beliefs and perceptions. Prerequisites: None

RELG203 Scriptures of the Near East Sections

An introduction to the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

This course introduces students to the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’ān—some of the foundational texts of both western and world culture, and the sacred scriptural basis for religious traditions originating in the Near East: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—and, more broadly, the social processes, textual practices, performance modes, and ideological constructs that, in various modes of synergy, constitute the phenomenon of  ‘scripture’ in religious traditions. Through close, critical readings and discussions of primary literature (in English translation), this course considers each set of texts in terms of: its contents; confessional and historical-critical theories of its contexts, composition, and canonization; relationship to the other sacred texts; and reception in later religious traditions.  The culminating part of the course explores cultural issues surrounding the generation and promulgation of competing character profiles within the scriptures and interpretive traditions of these kindred religions; characters of prominent interest include: Adam, Eve/Hawwāʾ, Satan/Iblīs, Noah,...

RELG207 Classical Islam Sections

The history and culture, values, and achievements of Islamic societies from 700-1500; the interconnections between power, politics, gender, and the arts in Islamic societies. This course is highly recommended as a basis for all 300- and 400-level Islamic Studies courses.

The classical Islamic tradition (variously pegged between 650 and 1500AD) continues to influence and shape the modern Muslim discourse around the world. This course is divided into units, each focussed on a major Islamic science that is the subject of intense scholarly investigation and debate, in order to appreciate the rich tapestry of Islam's normative and lived tradition(s).These units comprise Islamic political history, sacred texts, theology, jurisprudence, legal theory, and mysticism.Each unit will give you a taste of a sub-field of Islamic Studies, and will introduce you to topics and issues that are central to the historical and living tradition of Islam. Prerequisites: None

RELG208 Modern Islam Sections

The history and culture, values, and socio-political movements of the Islamic world from 1500 to the modern day; the interconnections between power, politics, gender, and the arts in modern Islamic societies. This course is highly recommended as a basis for all 300- and 400-level Islamic Studies courses.

Islam permeates the landscape of our contemporary world events—whether in relation to immigration, women’s rights, or terrorism. In this course, we will examine the ways that Islam has changed in the last five centuries in order to gain a better understanding of Muslims’ beliefs and practices today. We will analyze the deep impact and transformative effect of events like colonization, Western science, and increased literacy on Muslim peoples. We will survey modern Muslim debates on how their faith should relate to democracy, gender, nationalism, violence, reason, and authority. Students will leave the course better understanding the contested ways Muslims have sought to shape their tradition in the modern world.

RELG209 Eden to Exile: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible Sections

An overview of the Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament"), with emphasis on its ancient Near Eastern context; its competing religious perspectives; and its limits as a historical source.

RELG 209 Eden to Exile: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible  A beginner's guide to reading the Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament") from an academic perspective, with attention to how and why it came to be in its current form.

RELG306 Archaeology and the Bible Sections

The impact of archaeological research on understanding the history and religion of ancient Israel.

Over the last two centuries, archaeologists (both professional and amateur) have extensively excavated the lands depicted in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Often digging with sacred texts in hand, they have uncovered a voluminous corpus of archaeological remains related to ancient Israel, early Judaism, and Christianity. This course introduces students to the comparative study of the material and literary production of the peoples who lived in ancient Palestine, from 1000 B.C.E. to 640 C.E. We will critically examine the ways that archaeological finds can - and cannot - contribute to our understanding of the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, classical Rabbinic Literature, and related texts. In addition, we will uncover the major interpretive issues that face scholars today. In each unit, following an overview of the period"s material culture, we will examine two sets of primary sources - one textual, one archaeological; critically evaluate modern interpretations and...

RELG307 Sex, Lies, and Violence in the Hebrew Bible Sections

An exploration of the Bible's "dark side," with emphasis on texts that center on sex, deceit, and murder.

For all of its accounts of angels and miracles, the Bible features a staggering number of texts that deal with “real life,” including literature that deals with sex, deceit, and murder. Most of these texts never make it into a synagogue or church sermon, though some of them are persistently (mis-)used to justify the oppression and/or exclusion of women and LGBTQ individuals. Together we will probe these texts within their own ancient contexts, emerging both with a deeper appreciation of the Bible’s “dark side” and with a more sophisticated sense as to what these texts might have meant to their original audiences

RELG317 The Origins of Christianity: Social, Religious, and Political Milieux Sections

The origins of Christianity as reflected in early Christian literature of the first and early second centuries (including the New Testament).

RELG330 The Origins of Judaism Sections

Surveys the history of Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple era, from the destruction of the First Jerusalem Temple (586 B.C.E.) to the beginnings of the rabbinic movement (200 C.E.).

RELG 330 Origins of Judaism This course surveys the history and literature of Jews and Judaism during the Second Temple era. It covers the formative age of Judaism, from the destruction of the First Jerusalem Temple in 586 B.C.E. to the Babylonian Exile, through the Hellenistic and Early Roman ages, to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., and ends with the beginnings of the rabbinic movement (c. 200 C.E.). This course will also provide a broad context for the emergence of early Christianity and the so-called “parting of the ways” with Judaism. We will read from an array of primary sources (all in English translation), including the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hellenistic Jewish writings (e.g. Philo and Josephus), and end with a taste of early rabbinic texts (Mishnah). We will also closely examine archaeological finds from the era, including inscriptions, remains of ancient synagogues,...

RELG414 The Gospels and the Historical Jesus Sections

The canonical and apocryphal gospels and the life and teachings of the historical Jesus.

The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) are the historian's main source for his portrait of the historical Jesus. The focus of this course is the examination of various genres in the Gospels - parables, trial narratives, miracle stories, and so on, in order to understand the interplay of tradition and interpretation in the early decades of the Christian movement. The student will be encouraged to appreciate each Gospel as a unified composition, and to recognize each evangelist's principles of selection, arrangement and adaptation. A careful examination of the extra-canonical sources (Gospel of Thomas, Q, Apocryphal Gospels) to determine their relevance for historical Jesus research will be another feature of the seminar. Prerequisites: None

RELG415 The Life and Thought of Paul of Tarsus Sections

The life and literature of Paul in the Roman imperial world: letter writing, patronage and power; Roman imperial iconography; Paul and community formation.

RELG448 Seminar in the History of the Religion of Islam Sections

A topic relevant to the study of Islam as a religion: e.g., the text and doctrines of the Qur'an; the Hadith (or Traditions) of the Prophet; Islamic Law; mysticism in Islam; the Shi'ah and the Isma'ilis. Not offered every year. Consult the departmental brochure for the topic to be offered.

RELG 448 Shiʿa Islam Shiʿism is a branch of Islam that encompasses a number of Muslim communities collectively making up approximately 18% of the Muslim world. This course will examine the origins, doctrines, and practices of Shiʿi Muslims. Students will read recent monographs exposing them to the key academic debates in Shiʿi studies. The readings will cover the pre-modern and modern periods equally and will expose students to the methods of both history and anthropology. No prior knowledge in Islamic studies is needed but students are expected to come prepared to discuss the readings.

RELG475E Topics in Religion - TPCS IN RELIGION Sections

Consult the course registration information each year for offered topics.

RELG 475E/RELG 500B The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Modern Contexts An exploration of the Bible's continued influence in today's world, with attention to how and why the Bible continues to be recycled in so many different contexts.