Haverford College
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Semester/Topic Title::

Religious Polemics and the Construction of Religious Identity

Semester/Topic Description::

In this course we will study the ways various religious communities in antiquity self defined themselves against the other as a window into how many varieties of religious communities continue to self define in this way today.

Additional information/Expanded description:

RELGH301A Religious Traditions in Cultural Context:
Religious Polemics and the Construction of Religious Identity
Fall 2010 Tuesdays 1:30-4 Stokes 119
N. Koltun-Fromm Hall 104 x4975 nkoltunf@haverford.edu

Books
Daniel Boyarin, Borderlines
Martin Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem
Menahem Hirshman, A Rivalry of Genius
Jonathan Z. Smith, Drudgery Divine
Blackboard/Moodle readings (BB)

Requirements:
1. Full participation in each seminar meeting including careful reading and critiquing of the assigned material
2. One class presentation
3. One final seminar paper (20 pages) based on the class presentation
4. Weekly reports on research in the field
5. At least one short in class presentation on reading material

Schedule
1. Tuesday Aug 31 What are religious polemics? What is Religious identity?
READin class: JZSmith, What a difference a difference makes
2. Tuesday Sept 6 Setting the scene: The world of late antiquity
READ: Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem
3. Tuesday Sept 13: Jews, Christians and sacred text
READ: Hirshman: A Rivalry of Genius
4. Tuesday Sept 20 Heresy and orthodoxy
READ Boyarin: Borderlines
5. Tuesday Sept 27 Moving into modern polemics
READ JZSmith: Drudgery Divine
6. Tuesday Oct 4

Fall Break

Syllabus will be determined by student interest for second half of course

7. Tuesday Oct 18
8. Tuesday Oct 25
9. Tuesday Nov 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
10. Tuesday Nov 8
11. Tuesday Nov 15
12. Tuesday Nov 22�SBL
13. Tuesday Nov 29
14. Tuesday Dec 6