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RELGH121b Varieties of Judaism in the Ancient World


Spring 2011 Tuesday-Thursday 11:30-1pm Hall 107


Naomi Koltun-Fromm nkoltunf@haverford.edu Hall 104 ex 4975





This course traces the development of Judaism and Christianity from their shared biblical/Israelite cult/religion roots through the extra-canonical and other apocryphal literature that was composed between the destruction of the first Jerusalem sanctuary in 586 BCE and the destruction of the second in 70 CE. Its primary focus is probing the texts to better under stand the nature of ancient Jewish and early Christian identities in the Persian, Hellenistic and Greco-Roman milieus.





Books


NRSV Bible with Apocrypha


Susan Indict: Ancient Israelite Religion


Timothy H. Lim: The Dead Sea Scrolls: A very short introduction


Readings on Blackboard





Requirements:


1. Prepare assignments for each class that may include reading and writing.


2. Open and eager participation in class discussions


3. 1 short (5 page) paper and one long (10 page)


4. Several one or two page response papers





Students who think they may need accommodations in this course because of the impact of a disability are encouraged to meet with me privately early in the semester. Students should also contact Rick Webb, Coordinator, Office of Disabilities Services (rwebb@haverford.edu, 610-896-1290) to verify their eligibility for reasonable accommodations as soon as possible. Early contact will help to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and delays.





Schedule


1. Tu Jan 18 Introduction


2. Th Jan 20 Biblical �Religion� and ancestral cults and traditions


READ: BB Geller, �Religion of the Bible�


3. Tu Jan 25 Biblical �Religion� and ancestral cults and traditions


READ: Indict: Ancient Israelite Religion, pp. 3-69


4. Th Jan 27 Biblical �Religion� and ancestral cults and traditions


READ: Indict: Ancient Israelite Religion, pp.70-124


WRITE: Two page response paper: What is biblical religion? Does it really exist?


5. Tu Feb 1 Bible, Canon; History, text: Exile and Return


READ: Bible: 2 Kings 24-25; Jeremiah 35-45; 2 Char 36; Haggai; Zechariah


6. Th Feb 3 Ezra/Nehemiah


READ: Bible: Ezra; Nehemiah


WRITE: one page response paper: What do you think the small city-state of Judea looked like in this period? Who lived there, what language did they speak? How did they self-identify? Did they have a �religion�?


7. Tu Feb 8 Hellenism


READ: BB: Lee Levine: �The Age of Hellenism�, from Alexander to Hadrian�; Katell Berthelot: Early Jewish Literature written in Greek.


8. Th Feb 10 Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha


READ: BB James Kugel: Early Jewish Biblical Interpretation; Loren Stuckenbruck: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha


9. Tu Feb 15 1 Maccabees


READ Bible 1 Maccabees


10. Thu Feb 17 2 Maccabees


READ Bible 2 Maccabees


WRITE: two page response page comparing 1 and 2 Maccabees: who are these people? What are they fighting over? What is at state? Who wins and how?





Paper assignment 1:


Write a 5 page paper: How should one understand the texts and people behind these texts that we have read so far and their own understanding of self, community, tradition, law, God and religion? Substantiate your arguments with plentiful and critical reference to the texts we have read so far. Due Monday, March 14, 4pm by email.





11. Tu Feb 22 Individual meetings with me about papers


12. Th Feb 24 Reaction to Macs: Daniel


READ: Bible: Daniel


13. Tu Mar 1 Jubilees


READ: Bible Genesis 1-12; BB Jubilees


14. Th Mar 3 Judith


READ: Bible: Judith





Spring Break


Monday March 14th : Papers due to me by email by 4pm.





15. Tu Mar 15 Dead Sea Scrolls


READ: Lin: The Dead Sea Scrolls, A Very Short Introduction


16. Th Mar 17 Dead Sea Scrolls


READ: BB The War Scroll


WRITE one page response paper: What is this text about? Who are these people? What is at stake?


17. Tu Mar 22 Dead Sea Scrolls


READ BB the Community Rule


WRITE one page response paper: What is this text about? Who are these people? What is at stake?


18. Th Mar 24 Dead Sea Scrolls


READ: BB Pesher Habakkuk


WRITE one page response paper: What is this text about? Who are these people? What is at stake?


19. Tu Mar 29 Alexandria


READ: Philo: On Creation


WRITE one page response paper: Is Philo more a Jew or a Greek philosopher? How do you think he would self identify?


20. Th Mar 31 Letter of Aristeas and the Septuaginta


READ: BB Letter of Aristeas; selections of the LXX (to be posted)


21. Tu Apr 5 Paul


READ: Bible Romans


22. Th Apr 7 Paul


READ: Bible: Galatians; 1 Corinthians


WRITE Two page response paper: Who is Paul? How does he self-identify in his letters?





Paper assignment 2:


Write a 10 page paper attempting to answer: Who was a Jew in the Ancient world? You can go about this in two ways: 1) try to synthesis everything we have learned this semester into one cogent argument about the varieties and evolution of Jewish identity, using copious examples from our texts; or 2) chose one or two texts to study in depth or compare to show how there was variety and evolution in this period. Substantiate your arguments, talk about outside influences, place texts in contexts as well as analyze them for content.


Drafts due, last day of class


Final Drafts due last day of finals period





23. Tu Apr 12 individual meetings to talk about papers


24. Th Apr 14 Matthew


READ: Bible: Matthew


Passover no class Apr 19


25. Th Apr 21 Josephus


READ BB Antiquities


26. Tu Apr 26 Josephus


READ BB Against Apion


27. Th Apr 28 wrap up