Religious Studies | Paul and His Influence in Early Christianity
R521 | 27823 | Harrill


This course investigates the Apostle Paul through a strictly
historical study of his own letters and the later literature that
others wrote about him. Our historical approach means attention to
ancient Judaism, Greek culture, and Roman imperial society. We shall
examine Paulís founding and nurturing of Christian communities, the
social and religious conflicts to which his letters respond, and
early, medieval, and modern writers on Paul as a Christian apostle.
Topics include Paul's rhetorical style, method of community
formation, beliefs about Christ, and moral teachings, including
areas of controversy. Our course concludes with readings from
important Western thinkers on Paul, such as Augustine, Martin
Luther, Friedrich Nietzsche, and George Bernard Shaw. Requirements:
midterm and final exam. A short essay and a substantial (6-8 page)
exegesis paper on a particular passage in Paul's writings.