REL W40 Israel: Land of the Bible. This course, based in Israel at Jerusalem University College, studies the geographical and historical settings of the Bible. Students visit ancient historical and archaeological sites with about 80% of the course taught in the field. Students tour key sites in Jerusalem, throughout ancient Judea, and in the region of the Dead Sea, as well as making two multi-day excursions—one to Galilee and another to the Negev (southern desert regions). Students also experience contemporary Jewish and Arab cultures, along with the current religious and political situation. Jerusalem University College’s location just outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem makes it a perfect venue for first hand study of the biblical world. Students engage in readings, map work, and field studies. This course may fulfill an elective in the Religion major or minor. This course fulfills the CCE requirement. Course dates: January 4-27. Fee: $4100. K. Pomykala. Off campus.
REL W41 Birth, Sex & Death in the Biblical World. Why is sexual intercourse "unclean" according to Lev 15:18? If the body is in the grave, where is the "person" after death? In recent years, anthropologists and other social scientists have begun to examine more closely the ways in which human cultures conceptualize and organize the ordinary events of the human life cycle. Biblical scholars, too, have begun to consider these things by using the Bible, not as a theological textbook, but as a window into the lives of ordinary people in ancient Israel and the early Church. This course looks at various aspects of the human life cycle as they are described or discussed in the Bible. Material from other ancient Near Eastern cultures is also used to illuminate the thought world of the Bible. Some of the aspects of the life cycle covered are the reasons why people wanted to have children, theories of conception and fetal development, birth and the postpartum period, the female reproductive cycle, the structure of marriage, raising children, sexual activity and restrictions, celibacy, old age, death, and the afterlife. This course may fulfill an elective in the Religion major. R. Whitekettle. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
REL W42 One Bible, Many Readings. This course examines the emergence, development, and practice of non-Western-centered biblical hermeneutics. Special attention is given to the phenomenon of biblical interpretation in Asia: how the Bible, a Semitic book formed in an entirely different geographic, historical, and cultural context, and interpreted for so many centuries by the West, can and should be interpreted in Asia by Asian Christians for their own people. In what way does biblical authority help Asian Christians confess Christ in a multi-scriptural content? Through engaging in meaningful dialogue with others, students learn a balanced attitude toward diverse readings of biblical texts. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement. This course may fulfill an elective in the Asian Studies major and minor. W. Lee. 8:30 a.m. to noon.