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Viewing: REL 412 / REL 512 : Advanced Readings in the Christian Gospels

Last approved: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:00:37 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:00:34 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
Major
REL (Religious Studies)
412
019265
Dual-Level Course
Yes
512
Cross-listed Course
No
Advanced Readings in the Christian Gospels
Christian Gospels
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Philosophy and Religion (16PHI)
Term Offering
Fall and Spring
Offered Upon Demand
Spring 2018
Previously taught as Special Topics?
No
 
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3.0
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
William Adler
Distinguished University Professor of Religious Studies
assoc

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture2525No25 per semester, 1 section per semester
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Prerequisite: REL 312 or REL 317
Prerequisite: Graduate standing
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
No
Close study of the varieties of gospel writings, both canonical and non-canonical, in early Christianity. Analysis of the constituent features of the gospels (parables, healing narratives, sermons), and their "pre-history"; the use of the gospels in the reconstruction of the life and ministry of Jesus; and critical methods in gospel research. Students may not receive credit for both REL 412 and REL 512.

An external review (Fall 2015) recommended increased offerings as permitted by existing resources for graduate students by creation of small "piggy back" versions of existing 400-level courses. In a post-review meeting with the Provost and Senior Vice Provost, the recommendation was favorably received. As the department had already agreed with the Dean of H&SS to increase its offerings to graduate students, having already proposed on 9/30/2015, four new 500-level "piggy back" versions of existing 400-level courses, it welcomed the recommendation to continue.


Given that the enrollment history is as indicated below, the addition of five graduate students would not impose an unmanageable added burden on the instructor:



  • Sp 2013 12

  • Sp 2011 14

  • Sp 2009 18.


Undergraduate grading:



  • 5%       Attendance

  • 15%     Class participation

  • 30%     Small writing assignments weekly @ 3 pp

  • 40%     Research paper 15-20 pp

  • 10%     Presentation of research paper


TOTAL: 100%


Graduate grading:



  • 5%       Attendance

  • 15%     Class participation

  • 25%     Small writing assignments weekly @ 5 pp

  • 45%     Research paper 25-30 pp

  • 10%     Presentation of research paper


TOTAL: 100%


[Last reviewed for GEP 8.2012]


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Global Knowledge
Humanities
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to: describe the contents of the representative canonical and non-canonical Christian gospels; explain the literary and historical contexts of the composition and collection of these texts; use the gospels critically as witnesses to early Christian beliefs about Jesus; use the gospels critically as sources for reconstructing the life and ministry of the “historical Jesus.”
 
 
Several small papers (3-5) pages ask students to treat various questions dealing with the gospels in the context of the aforementioned issues. (Ex. In what way does Pope Benedict find problematic Rudolf Schnackenburg’s Jesus in the Gospels: A Biblical Christology in its limitation to the historical-critical method?)
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1) discuss and critique various approaches to the study of the gospels;
2) analyze and evaluate scholarly writings about the gospels.
 
 
Several small papers (3-5) papers are designed to familiarize students with the historical critical method. (Ex. The paper assignment dealing with comparative analysis of three pericopes from the synoptic gospels will help students develop a better understanding of the synoptic problem, a familiar question in New Testament source criticism.)
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to formulate arguments about the text, composition and authority of the Christian gospels that are informed and supported by established methods in New Testament scholarship.
 
 
In small papers and a research paper due at the end of the class, students will be expected to demonstrate an ability to make observations and judgments informed by accepted methods in gospel criticism. (Ex. Why is Matthew’s target in the Gospel often been viewed as an audience of Jews and Jewish-Christians? How is Matthew’s use of the prophecies of Isaiah evidence for this view?)
Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to: 1) evaluate the representation of Jews and Judaism in the gospels; 2) read and interpret the Christian gospels in their first century cultural and religious setting; 3) understand key themes in the gospels in the context of early Jewish and Christian messianic and eschatological expectations.
 
 
Topics assigned in several small papers ask students to consider the characterization of the Jews in the Gospel according to John, and the representation of Jesus and his teachings in the content of Jewish messianism and eschatology.
 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to describe: 1) the internal developments and pressures within early Christianity that led to the canonization of the four gospels; 2) cultural and intellectual developments in the early church influencing interpretation and reinterpretation of the Christian gospels in the first three centuries of its history.
 
 
A small paper topic asks students to look at some representative examples of non-canonical gospels, their relationship to the canonical gospels, and the impact of these works on the canonization process.
US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
100%
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
NA
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
NA
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
For REL 412: Prerequisite: REL 312 or REL 317
For REL 512: Graduate Standing
Students may not receive credit for both REL 412 and REL 512.
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
None
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 
Kingsbury, Jack Dean, Matthew as Story (2nd ed.; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988). $20.00
Rhoads, David; Dewey, Joanna; Michie, Donald, Mark as Story: an Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel (2nd ed.; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999). (Rhoads) $21.00
Stanton, Graham N., The Gospels and Jesus (2nd ed.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) $34.99
Tannehill, Robert C., The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts : a Literary Interpretation. Vol. 1; (Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1986). $25.00
Students are also urged to use the New Revised Standard Version. Highly recommended is The HarperCollins Study Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books (NRSV; ed. Wayne A. Meeks et al.; HarperCollins, 1993). Also recommended is Throckmorton’s Synoptic Parallels.
Additional readings on e-reserve are indicated in the syllabus.
 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 
The subject matter is divided into three parts: 1) An examination of the varieties of gospel writing in the early Church. The works examined include both canonical and non-canonical gospels (e.g. the Gospel according to Thomas), and are intended to provide a representative cross-section of different kinds of gospel writing; 2) Analysis of the constituent features of the gospels (parables, healing narratives, sermons), and their “pre-history”; 3) An examination of the use of the gospels in the reconstruction of the life and ministry of Jesus.
 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 
NA
Professor Adler will continue to teach this course as part of his standard load. The addition of five graduate students would not impose an unmanageable added burden on the instructor:

1) To become familiar with the varieties of gospel writing in the early Church, both canonical and non-canonical gospels.


2) To become aware of constituent features of the gospels (parables, healing narratives, sermons), and their “pre-history.”


3) To acquire facility in the use of the gospels in the reconstruction of the life and ministry of Jesus.


Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

1. Describe the contents of the representative canonical and non-canonical Christian gospels;

2. Explain the literary and historical contexts of the composition and collection of these texts;

3. Use the gospels critically as witnesses to early Christian beliefs about Jesus;

4. Use the gospels critically as sources for reconstructing the life and ministry of the “historical Jesus”;

5. discuss and critique various approaches to the study of the gospels;

6. Analyze and evaluate scholarly writings about the gospels; and

7. Formulate arguments about the text, composition and authority of the Christian gospels that are informed and supported by established methods in New Testament scholarship.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Attendance5 / 5see syllabus
Participation15 / 15assessed as specified in syllabus
Written Assignment30 / 25weekly @ 3 pp for undergraduates, @ 5 pp for graduates
Major Paper40 / 4515-20 pp for undergraduates, 25-30 pp for graduates
presentation10 / 10summary of major term paper
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Part 1: Varieties of Christian gospels9 weekssee syllabus
Part 2: Representations of Jesus: ancient and modern6 weekssee syllabus
mlnosbis 9/6/2017:
1) Effective date must be Spring 2018; too late for Fall 2017 Reply 9/14/2017: OK (though the initial submission date of 3/22/17 made is not unreasonable to hope for an earlier disposition)
2) Course goals should also be listed on the syllabus Reply 9/14/2017: Copied and pasted on page 3 of syllabus.
3) Are all of the books on reserve required readings? If so, clarify in the syllabus that students must go to the library (D.H. Hill or Hunt?) to access these books and complete all of the readings. Reply 9/14/2017: Many of the primary documents are available in electronic form. The reading assignments provide website addresses for these documents. (The actual syllabus contains active links to many recommended readings as well, another clear indication of their availability at no cost to the student.) So, the syllabus says that the recommended readings are available on reserve or are online, and students typically know that this means that they are available to them at no cost. That should make it clear that the recommended readings are available at no cost to students. (While graduate students are, the syllabus says, expected to read what is recommended, the graduate enrollment will certainly be very small, as indicated in the CIM-provided justification, and there will thus be little competition for hard copies.)
5) Will this course be capped at 5 graduate students, or is that just the expected enrollment? Reply 9/14/2017: 5 is the maximum it's reasonable to expect, but not a cap. A cap can be considered later if enrollment pressure warrants it.
6) What is the previous enrollment for the past few offerings of this course? Reply 9/14/2017: The most recent enrollments are already given under "Justification."

ABGS Reviewer Comments:
-No concerns.
Key: 4859