TH4308, undergraduate level (fulfills requirement for a second theology course)
Taught spring 2009, spring 2010
This course explores the variety of Jewish literature from roughly 200 BCE to 100 CE. The study of several genres in their historical contexts leads to a deeper understanding of the intellectual context that formed the New Testament, Early Christianity, and Rabbinic Judaism. The four major genres of study are historiography (1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Josephus), apocalyptic literature (Animal Apocalypse, Apocalypse of Weeks, Daniel), wisdom literature (Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon, Philo), and re-written scripture (Jubilees). The course focuses on close reading of primary sources.
Major questions of the course include:
How was the textual authority of scripture reapplied to changing circumstances?
How did Jewish writers respond to the encounter with Greek culture and philosophy?
How did apocalyptic literature authorize its ideas about the meaning of history and suffering?
How did intellectual history respond to and influence the changing political and social situations?
How did the ideas develop in Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism?
TH2301 "Foundations of Theology" or SMC1314W "Foundation of Reflection: God"