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Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
* REL 252 (EC)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Jesus: How Christianity Began

Elaine H. Pagels

Who was Jesus of Nazareth, and how do we know about him? Why did some interpretations of truth -- and his message -- win out over others? How have these particular ways of thinking influenced western culture, shaping our views of politics, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, civil and human rights even now? To answer questions like these, we'll investigate the earliest gospels, letters, Jewish and Roman sources, prison diaries and martyr accounts -- as well as how artists, filmmakers, musicians and theologians interpret them. Regardless of religious background, or none, you will learn a lot, and be able to contribute.

Sample reading list:
Bible, selected readings
E. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus
J. Lynch, Early Christianity: A Brief History
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 75-100 pages of reading per week; take-home midterm; leading precept discussion one week on topic of your choice; active participation in precepts; your choice of take-home final or research paper.

Requirements/Grading:
Take Home Mid term Exam - 25%
Take Home Final Exam - 35%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%
Other (See Instructor) - 10%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21832 L01 11:00 am - 11:50 am M W        Enrolled:63 Limit:80
21833 P99 TBA        Enrolled:63 Limit:80