EMWAR courses 2019-20

Fall courses – EMWAR

  • REL 536a, English Exegesis of Gospel of Matthew (with option for Greek exegesis)
    Yii-Jan Lin
    M 1:30-3:20
    Through reading and analysis of the text of the Gospel of Matthew, this course aims to familiarize students with the cultural-historical context of the gospel and its reception history.  Secondary readings and class discussion will also focus on literary, theological, and explicitly contextual interpretations of the text. Specific topics for presentation include: textual transmission of Matthew, Sermon on the Mount and Jewish law, ancient wandering charismatics, disability studies, the Ten Virgins in art, early church discipline, and the history of Matthew 27:25.
    EMWAR AOC designations: NT. 
     
  • RLST 655a, Christianity in the Second and Third Centuries
    Maria Doerfler and Andrew McGowan
    W 9:25 - 11:15
    This course will address key methodological, philological, and historiographical issues related to the study of Christianity in the second and third centuries, a formative period in the development of early Christian literary forms, social institutions, philosophy, and theology. The course is organized topically and is structured around major and minor student presentations, as well as weekly book reports. The workload is intense, but it is designed to be shared among participants and the end result should be an accumulated file of work that will serve as a useful research and teaching resource for years, if not decades. This seminar is open to all EMWAR doctoral students. Other students may participate with instructors’ permission.
    EMWAR AOC designations: EarXty, LateXty, ScrInterp, XtyJudEast, NT, RabJud, WAR.
    *The course is designed for EMWAR students with a primary OR secondary area of concentration in Early Christianity, Late Ancient Christianity, and Scriptures and their Interpretation in Antiquity.
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East, New Testament, Rabbinic Judaism, and West Asian Religions in the Sasanian and Early Islamic Eras.
    *Students interested in completing a seminar-based exam in connection with the course may speak to the Instructor.

     
  • RLST 746a/JDST 736a/NELC 701a, Midrash Seminar: Sifre Shofetim
    Steven Fraade
    W 9:25 - 11:15
    Close study of the earliest rabbinic commentary to the Book of Deuteronomy, focusing on its interpretations of laws dealing with the responsibilities of courts and public figures: judges, kings, priests, and prophets. Particular attention is paid to the interrelation of rabbinic legal rhetoric and the hermeneutics of scriptural commentary, with comparisons to other corpora of ancient Jewish and non-Jewish laws.
    Prerequisite: reading fluency in ancient Hebrew.
    EMWAR AOC designations: STHJ, RabJud, ScrInterp

     
  • REL 756a, The Cult of Mary: Early Christian and Byzantine Art
    Vasileios Marinis and Felicity Harley
    Tuesday 1.30-3.20
    This course examines the origins and development of the veneration of Mary as the Mother of God, focusing specifically on the treatment of Mary in the visual and material culture of Early Christianity and Byzantium. Its aim is to introduce students to key points in the history of the cult through the close study of images preserved on a range of objects in different media (including frescoes, glassware, sculpture, coins, textiles, mosaic), made for a variety of purposes. This visual material will be analyzed in conjunction with relevant literary, theological, and liturgical evidence for the development of the cult. It is designed as a seminar for students who have interest or background in the material, textual and religious culture of early Christianity.
    EMWAR AOC designations: EarXty, LateXty 
    This course can also be applied to secondary areas of concentration focused on visual and material culture.

     
  • RLST 757a/JDST 725a/NELC 704a, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Ancient Judaism: The Damascus Document
    Steven Fraade
    Study of the Damascus Document, one of the most important of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Attention to the document’s place in the history of biblical interpretation and ancient Jewish law; the nature and rhetorical function of its textual practices, both narrative and legal; and its relation to the central sectarian writings of the Qumran community.
    Prerequisite: reading proficiency in ancient Hebrew.
    EMWAR AOC designations: STHJ, ScrInterp
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in Rabbinic Judaism.

     
  • RLST 796a/JDST763a, Ancient Jewish Ritual Law (Halakhah) and Archaeology
    Yonatan Adler 
    Th 1:30-3:20
    An examination of case-studies of Jewish ritual practices and prohibitions which may be investigated archaeologically. Topics to be surveyed include: ritual bathing and ritual baths (miqwa’ot), use of chalk vessels and avoidance of imported pottery, tefillin (phylacteries) and mezuzah, avoidance of figural art, the dietary laws, and the four species ritual.
    EMWAR AOC designations: STHJ
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in New Testament, Early Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East.
    *The course can also be applied to secondary areas of concentration focused on archaeology and material culture.

     
  • RLST 862a/REL 566a, Grief and Emotions: Ancient Philosophy and Theology, Modern Conversations
    Laura Nasrallah 
    M 1:30-3:20
    This course focuses on grief and theories of the emotions in the ancient Mediterranean world, touching as well upon contemporary conversations about grief among scholars in Black studies, as well as queer, feminist, and affect theories. Course materials include New Testament texts, Roman-period consolation letters and literature, philosophical writings, tragedies, and scholarly hypotheses regarding lifespan. Special attention will be paid to political and economic issues (including slavery), as well as to instructions to women on how to mourn. The course will be punctuated by contemporary conversations by scholars such as Saidiya Hartmann, Sara Ahmed, Judith Butler, Claudia Rankine, and Eve Sedgwick.
    EMWAR AOC designations: NT, XtyJudEast
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in all EMWAR areas of concentration.
    *The course can also be applied to secondary areas of concentration focused on philosophy, religion, and literature.

Language Courses

  • REL 570a Historical Hebrew Grammar
    Eric Reymond
    Wed 1:30-3:20
    The course examines the development of the sounds and forms of Biblical Hebrew, paying particular attention to the following (partially hypothetical) stages of the language and its predecessors: Proto-Semitic, Proto-Hebrew, Hebrew in the Iron Age, and Hebrew in the Second Temple Period. The course begins with an introduction to Hebrew in relation to other Semitic languages and an introduction to the alphabet. It then addresses the phonology of Hebrew as attested in the time of the Masoretic scribes, in the time of early Judaism and Christianity, in the time of the Persian era, and in the time of the Iron Age and in earlier periods. Finally, the course addresses specific morphologies of Biblical Hebrew: nouns, adjectives, verbs, and particles. Prerequisite: at least one year of Biblical Hebrew.  
     
  • REL 574a/575 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew I
    Eric Reymond
    T/Th 9:00-10:20
    This course focuses on the reading of biblical texts but also offers a review of the elementary grammar of Biblical Hebrew and the introduction of more complicated grammatical concerns. More specifically, the course focuses on prose texts and reviews the morphology of verbs and nouns as well as basic components of Hebrew syntax. In addition, the form and function of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) are introduced.
    Prerequisite: REL 3603 and REL 3604 or the equivalent (i.e., one year of an introductory course in Biblical Hebrew).  
     
  • REL 3605a, Elementary New Testament Greek I
    Daniel Bohac
    MWF 8:30am-9:20am
    First term of a two-term introduction to the ancient Greek language of the New Testament for those with little or no knowledge of ancient Greek. This first term concentrates on elementary grammar and syntax and on building vocabulary.  
     
  • REL 518a Intermediate New Testament Greek
    Judith Gundry
    Tu Th 8:30a-9:50a
    This course is devoted to extensive translation of New Testament texts and other early Christian texts belonging to different genres and exhibiting different styles, and to a systematic study of New Testament Greek syntax and vocabulary-building, to prepare students for advanced Greek exegesis courses and other formal or informal study requiring the ability to read Hellenistic Greek and secondary literature on it. Students will also have the opportunity to sharpen their skills in using a Greek-English lexicon and advanced Greek grammars and other reference works.
    Prerequisite: Elementary New Testament Greek or the equivalent

     
  • RLST 826a/SMTC 523a, Intermediate Syriac
    Jimmy Daccache
    T 10.30-12.20
    This two-semester course is designed to enhance students’ knowledge in Syriac language, by reading a selection of texts, sampling the major genres of classical Syriac literature. By the end of the year, students will be familiar with non-vocalized texts and will be capable to confront punctual grammatical or lexical problems.

     
  • RLST 835a/SMTC 545a, Northwest Semitic Inscriptions: Aramaic
    Jimmy Daccache
    W 3.30-5.20
    The first semester of a two-semester course designed to familiarize students with Aramaic epigraphy from the 1st Millennium BCE. The Aramaic grammar will be illustrated through early monumental inscriptions on stones from Anatolia and the abundant papyri of the Persian period from Egypt.

Spring Courses – EMWAR

  • REL 517b, “Race” and the New Testament 
    Yii-Jan Lin
    M 1:30-3:20
    This seminar is divided in two parts. The first considers possible concepts of race and/or ethnicity in the ancient Mediterranean world while the second focuses on racial/ethnic theory today and minoritized hermeneutics. Ancient primary sources (e.g. Herodotus, Vergil, Greek novels), the NT and early Christian texts (e.g. Acts of Peter), and contemporary scholarship form the reading materials for the class.
    EMWAR AOC designations: NT, EarXty
     
  • REL 550b, Theological Themes in the Letters of Paul
    Judith Gundry
    HTBA
    Study of key theological themes in two major letters of Paul, 1 Corinthians and Romans. The course seeks to relate the central themes of these letters to the lives and circumstances of the communities addressed in their broader social contexts, and to examine how Paul uses Scripture in his interpretation and application of early Christian tradition about Jesus for predominantly Gentile audiences. Interpretations of Paul’s preaching/teaching and its significance from ancient times to the present day will be studied, including the New Perspective on Paul, Paul and Judaism, and Paul and contemporary philosophy.
    Prerequisite: New Testament Interpretation 2 or the equivalent
    EMWAR AOC designations: NT, ScrInterp

     
  • RLST 608b, Approaches to the Study of Christianity in Late Antiquity
    Stephen Davis
    Tu 1:30-3:20
    This proseminar addresses key methodological and historiographical issues in the periodization and commodification of late antiquity as a field of inquiry, focusing especially on Christianity from the rise of Constantine (313) to the Council of Chalcedon (451).  Part One of the course will focus on theories and methods that have marked the study of late ancient Christianity in recent decades, including the analysis of discourse, sexuality and gender, bodies and ritual practice, and hybridity and ethnic identities. Part Two of the course will focus on a series of case studies, including the rise of Constantine, North African ecclesiastical resistance, the role of bishops and councils, barbarians and Roman borders, monasticism, pilgrimage, and the cult of the saints. The course will conclude with a consideration of early Christian archaeology.
     EMWAR AOC designations: NT, EarXty, LateXty, ScrInterp, XtyJudEast, WAR.
    *The course is designed for EMWAR students with a primary or secondary area of concentration in Early Christianity, Late Ancient Christianity, Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East, and West Asian Religions of the Sasanian and Early Islamic Era.
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in New Testament, and Scriptures and their Interpretation in Antiquity.
    *Students interested in completing a seminar-based exam in connection with the course are encouraged to speak with the instructor.

     
  • RLST 633/CLSS 845/ HSAR 641/MDVL 520/ Images of Cult and Devotion in the Premodern World
    Jacqueline Jung
    T 1:30-3:20
    This seminar explores the use of shaped materials, mostly figural but sometimes aniconic, in the formal rituals and private devotional practices of premodern people. Various religious traditions are represented, including ancient Near Eastern and Greek polytheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and early and medieval Christianity. We look at both the distinctive features of image use in these cultures and the links among them, including the connection of sacred images to the dead, the numinous presence of relics, the importance of concealment and revelation, the instrumental power of votive objects, the role of images in sacrificial rites, and problems of idolatry and iconoclasm.
     
  • RLST 640b, The Body in Early Christian Thought and Practice
    Maria Doerfler
    W 9:25-11:15
    The study of late antiquity has, from its very inception, been preoccupied with bodies, injecting questions about physicality and materiality into fields previously preoccupied predominately with intellectual or spiritual matters. This seminar aims to provide an introduction to the “bodily” considerations that have preoccupied and continue to preoccupy students of late antiquity, including matters of sex, gender, and sexuality; race and ethnicity; health, illness, and death; bodily abjection, including that of slavery or asceticism; etc. In the process emerge connections between bodily and spiritual topoi: human bodies could, for example, serve as loci of sin or salvation, or become signifiers of religious identity (for better or for worse), while the “special” bodies ascribed to angelic and demonic beings, to Jesus and the Virgin Mary, or to humanity in its paradisiacal and eschatological manifestations similarly preoccupied late ancient thinkers.
    The sources considered in this seminar will focus on the period from roughly the second through the sixth centuries, and range primarily across the Latin, Greek, and Syriac-speaking realms. Most of the primary sources under consideration originate in Christian communities (broadly defined), although engagement with “pagan” and Jewish interlocutors feature prominently in both sources and scholarship. In the same vein, this course will focus predominantly on textual matters; students interested in material culture are nevertheless very welcome and warmly encouraged to bring to bear their expertise on both conversations and final projects.
    EMWAR AOC designations: EarXty, LateXty, ScrInterp
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East, Rabbinic Judaism, and West Asian Religions of the Sasanian and Early Islamic Eras.

     
  • RLST 651b/JDST 728b, Interpreting the Bible in Antiquity: Case Studies
    Christine Hayes
    TTh 11.35-12.50
    An examination of the rich and polyphonic tradition of interpretation of two biblical narratives (Jacob and Esau; the Golden Calf) that were classical loci of Jewish-Christian polemic. Beginning with inner-bible exegesis, and continuing with ancient translations, Second Temple and Hellenistic period Jewish literature, early Christian sources, and finally classical rabbinic midrash, this course explores the interpretative techniques and rhetorical strategies of ancient readers (especially midrash and allegory) and considers the way sacred texts have been employed to stake out competing intellectual and cultural claims.
    Prerequisite: reading proficiency in Hebrew.  
    EMWAR AOC designations: STHJ, RabJud, ScrInterp, XtyJudEast, WAR  

     
  • JDST706b/ RLST 790b, The Ancient Synagogue: Archaeology and Texts
    Yonatan Adler
    Th 9:25–11:15
    An overview of the ancient synagogue in both Judaea/Palaestina and the Jewish diaspora from its earliest manifestations in the final centuries of the first millennium BCE until the Muslim conquest of the Levant in the 7th century CE. The course will focus on the evidence provided by archaeology, epigraphic finds as well as literary and historical texts.
    EMWAR AOC designations: STHJ, RabJud, XtyJudEast, WAR
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in New Testament, Early Christianity, and Late Ancient Christianity.
    *The course can also be applied to secondary areas of concentration focused on archaeology and material culture.

     
  • RLST 740b/JDST 734b, Textual and Thematic Approaches to Classical Rabbinic Literature
    Christine Hayes
    W 1.30-3.20
    Trains students in the two basic approaches employed in the advanced study of classical rabbinic literature: (1) the critical analysis and elucidation of a defined unit of text using tools of higher criticism and (2) the investigation and elucidation of a concept, theme, or topic across a range of texts viewed in literary, cultural, historical, and/or comparative context. The last few weeks of the course are devoted to the evaluation of recent dissertations that both exemplify these research methods and stimulate reflection on the place of rabbinic literature in the study of religion in antiquity and in the broader humanities. NOTE: An additional hour will be scheduled for students working with the texts in original languages.
    EMWAR AOC designations RabJud, ScrInterp, XtyJudEast, WAR.
    *The course is designed for EMWAR students with a primary OR secondary area of concentration in Rabbinic Judaism, Scriptures and their Interpretation in Antiquity, Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East, West Asian Religions of the Sasanian and Early Islamic Eras.
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism, New Testament, and Ancient Christianity.
    *Students interested in completing a seminar-based exam in connection with the course may speak to the Instructor

     
  • RLST 861b/REL 583b, Archaeology of the Roman Empire for the Study of New Testament and Early Christianity
    Laura Nasrallah
    T 1.30-4.20
    The first portion of the course introduces students to working with archaeological data from the Greco-Roman world (inscriptions, architecture, sculpture, coins). The second portion consists of seminars in Greece and Turkey during May, including some meetings with archaeologists and other scholars abroad.
    Prerequisites: some level of reading ability in Greek, Latin, or Arabic; some level of reading ability in German, French, or modern Greek; and previous course work in early Christianity, New Testament, or Classics/Roman history.
    EMWAR AOC designations: NT, EarXty, LateXty, XtyJudEast
    *The course is designed for EMWAR students with a primary OR secondary area of concentration in New Testament, Early Christianity, Late Christianity, and Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East
    *The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism, Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East, and Rabbinic Judaism
    *The course can also be applied to secondary areas of concentration focused on archaeology and material culture.

Of Special Note

  • Reading course on the Wisdom of Solomon
    John Collins
    Reading and discussion of the Greek text of the Wisdom of Solomon. Research paper required. Permission of Instructor required.

Other Courses of interest

  • CLSS 895b, Survey of Greek and Latin Historical Sources
    Noel Lenski
    MW 2:30-3:45
    Familiarizes students with the major sources for Greek and Roman history in the original languages. Covers material to be tested on comprehensive examinations for the Ph.D. in the combined program in Classics and History.

Language Courses

  • REL 575b Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II
    Eric Reymond
    T/Th 9:00-10:20
    The course focuses on the reading of Biblical Hebrew texts, but also offers a review of the elementary grammar of Biblical Hebrew and the introduction of more complicated grammatical concerns, especially syntax. The course introduces the student to Biblical Hebrew poetic texts, including those of Psalms, Proverbs, and the prophetic books. Students learn vocabulary from a textbook and consult an intermediate grammar for the study of syntax. The majority of each class is spent reading aloud a small portion of text, translating it, and studying the most important forms it contains and the elements of its syntax.
    Prerequisite: REL 3603, REL 3604, and REL 574; or equivalents
     
  • REL 3606b, Elementary New Testament Greek II
    Daniel Bohac
    MWF 8:30am-9:20am
    Second term of a two-term introduction to the ancient Greek language of the New Testament for those with little or no knowledge of ancient Greek. The second term focuses on improving reading and translation skills and on developing working knowledge of the critical scholarly tools used in New Testament interpretation.
    Prerequisite: REL 3605 or equivalent
     
  • REL 518b Intermediate New Testament Greek
    Judith Gundry
    Tu Th 8:30a-9:50a
    This course is devoted to extensive translation of New Testament texts and other early Christian texts belonging to different genres and exhibiting different styles, and to a systematic study of New Testament Greek syntax and vocabulary-building, to prepare students for advanced Greek exegesis courses and other formal or informal study requiring the ability to read Hellenistic Greek and secondary literature on it. Students will also have the opportunity to sharpen their skills in using a Greek-English lexicon and advanced Greek grammars and other reference works.
    Prerequisite: Elementary New Testament Greek or the equivalent
     
  • RLST 827b/SMTC 524b, Intermediate Syriac
    Jimmy Daccache
    T 10.30-12.20
    The second semester of a two-semester course designed to enhance students’ knowledge in Syriac language, by reading a selection of texts, sampling the major genres of classical Syriac literature. By the end of the year, students will be familiar with non-vocalized texts and will be capable to confront punctual grammatical or lexical problems.
     
  • RLST 837b/SMTC 547b, Northwest Semitic Inscriptions: Aramaic
    Jimmy Daccache
    W 3:30-5:20
    This two-term course is designed to familiarize students with Aramaic epigraphy from the first millennium BCE. The Aramaic grammar is illustrated through early monumental inscriptions on stones from Anatolia and the abundant papyri of the Persian period from Egypt.
     
  • PERS 505b/JDST 670b, Middle Persian
    Kevin Van Bladel
    MWF 10:30-11:20
    This one-term course covers the grammar of Middle Persian, focusing on royal and private inscriptions and the Zoroastrian priestly book tradition.
    Permission of the instructor required.