097 The Bible & Its Interpretation
We focus on The Bible, and the sacred scriptures of the Jewish and Christian peoples. This diverse collection of writings has served as inspiration and catalyst for a great number of central events in human history–from the movements of liberation led by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to the great human tragedies of slavery in the Old South and the medieval Crusades. These texts have also had a profound influence on art, literature, philosophy, and politics for over two thousand years of history, particularly in the West. As such, an understanding of The Bible is essential for a well-informed perspective on the world. The course will introduce students to the most important biblical events and themes, raising questions of the influence and relevance of this text for the modern world. The course will also teach students to employ critical, scholarly tools for reading and interpretation, such as historical and literary criticism, as well as various lenses for the modern academic study of religion. Co-curricular lectures are an integral part of the class.
Theology & Religious Studies 097 is a prerequisite for any upper division theology and religious studies course; however, only a passing grade in TRS 097 is required, not a minimum grade of C-.
110 Topics in the Study of Scripture
An investigation of a topic in Scripture not covered by the regular offerings of the department. Topics are announced prior to registration each semester. May be repeated for credit when content changes.Prerequisite: TRS 097.
111 The Pentateuch
A study of the first five books of The Bible, the history of their composition, and their theological contributions to Judaism and Christianity. Prerequisite: TRS 097.
114 The Gospel of Mark
A close study of the Gospel of Mark with an emphasis on its literary, historical, social, and political background. Prerequisite: TRS 097.
115 Jesus and His Teaching
An exploration of teachings attributed to Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels (e.g., the Sermon on the Mount, parables, and other memorable statements), emphasizing the ways in which Jesus' statements have been interpreted and appropriated. Prerequisite: TRS 97.
116 Paul's Letters and Legacy
An in-depth examination of the letters of Paul, focusing on the mission and message of the apostle in his Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. Students develop a broad understanding of the apostle's work and thought, as well as an appreciation for the historic and continuing impact of these documents. Prerequisite: TRS 097.
117 Wealth and Poverty in the Bible
This course explores biblical and theological perspectives and values on wealth, poverty, and economic justice, paying particular attention to potential implications those issues may have for the contemporary Christian community and wider society. Prerequisite: TRS 097.
119 Apocalyptic and Eschatology
Earthquakes, war, and famine...the lamb, the dragon, and the beast...persectuion, judgment, and re-creation...For nearly 2,000 years, the Book of Revelation has fascinated, frightened, and perplexed its Christian readers. Is it a literal prediction of the coming end of the world? Is it an elaborate, symbolic allegory about the battle between good and evil? Is it a coded message between the persecuted Christians of the first century? This course will explore the life and afterlife of the Book of Revelation: its origins in contemporary Jewish and Christian literature and worldviews, its meaning for a first-century Christian readership, and the long and fascinating history of its interpretation, from the early church to modern fascination with the Antichrist, the Millennium, and the Rapture. Prerequisite: TRS 097.