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Jesus and the Gods: Christianity and the Religions of Antiquity
RELI 301
Fall 2024
Section: 01  

How did Jesus of Nazareth come to be understood as a god, who dies and rises, in a world brimming with gods? Why was he remembered as a philosopher and a martyr, like Socrates? How did early Christians understand their rituals of death and resurrection in terms of salvation and sacrifice? How--and with what motives--did writers throughout history compare Jesus with the priests and kings of ancient Israel or with the gods and goddesses of the "Mystery Religions"? This course will focus on the methods and politics of comparing Christianity and the religions of antiquity. Considering themes and theories of religion and sacrifice, wisdom and prophecy, ethics and philosophy, and mythmaking and cultural critique, we will ask how the politics of classification and comparison have shaped not only our understanding of Jesus and Judaism, and of ancient Greece and Rome, but also the construction of Judaism and Christianity as religions, and the very category of religion itself.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS RELI
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CGST-MN)(RELI-MN)(RELI)(STS)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-23-2024
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