RELG 004. Radical Jesus
(Cross-listed as CLST 004 )
Discussion-and writing-intensive study of classical and contemporary understandings of the figure of Jesus through analytical reading, classroom dialogue, expository writing, and community engagement. It asks the questions, Who was the real historical Jesus? and, What is the relevance of Jesus for today? Introduction to wide understanding of Greco-Roman cultures and ancient texts, biblical and otherwise, including many of the extracanonical scriptures that did not make the final cut for inclusion in the commonly received New Testament. Also introduction to the Greek alphabet, lexicons, and research tools for New Testament study along with rudimentary Greek terms essential to biblical scholarship and commentary. Instruction is intellectually rigorous and responsive both to skeptical and faith-based readings of Jesus’ biography and the Bible. The ground is level in this class: believers and unbelievers, evangelicals and atheists are welcome. No prior background in religious or biblical studies is assumed or required.
The class is divided into four three-week sessions with each session devoted to one of the Gospels, and a final week-long session focusing on the Book of Acts. Each session will study the interplay between Christian scriptures along with writings and images about Jesus drawn from the Hebrew Bible, extracanonical writings, film and video, history, theology and fiction. Images of Jesus through time will be tackled: Jewish rabbi, political revolutionary, apocalyptic prophet, queer lover, desert shaman, African messiah, and Native American trickster.
Eligible for CLST, ENVS, ESCH, INTP
Fall 2020. Wallace.
Catalog chapter: Religion
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/religion
Check the Spring 2020 Schedule of Courses
Check the Fall 2020 Schedule of Courses