Heretics and Heresy|
Fall 2021 not offered
What is religion all about? Is it fundamentally about belief, truth, or God? About understanding, revelation, or salvation? Is religion about one's origins, identity, or destiny? Is it about what one does or is supposed to do? How would we ever know? And who gets to say so? This class will explore the emergence of "heresy"--notions of error--in the construction of religious belief and practice in ancient Christianity, and how "heretics" became central to the way Christianity defined itself in relation to Jewish and Greco-Roman religious traditions. We will examine these issues, in part, by reading a number of remarkable, and recently discovered "heretical" texts from antiquity and early Christianity, including the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Truth, and the Cologne Mani Codex.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI-MN)(RELI)
Karen L. King, THE GOSPEL OF MARY OF MAGDALA (Polebridge Press, 2003)
Bentley Layton, THE GNOSTIC SCRIPTURES (Doubleday & Company, 1987)
Nicola Denzey Lewis, INTRODUCTION TO "GNOSTICISM" (Oxford University Press, 2013)
Christopher W. Skinner, WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS (Paulist Press, 2012)
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two short (6 pp.) papers and a final (9 pp.) paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Historical Traditions" or "Thematic Approach" requirement for the Religion Department major.
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