Santa Clara University
Religious Studies Department, SCU
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Course Description

Christianity has been a major shaping force in western history and in the history of the United States. Its sacred scriptures, and the way these scriptures were interpreted in the foundational centuries of late antiquity, have played a major role in constructing social values and norms today. This course takes one social construct, the notion of gender, and examines how it was understood and practiced in the worlds in which Christianity was born. What did Jesus have to say about men, women, the body, and sexuality? Was his teaching on this topic revolutionary or commonplace in the Jewish world? How did Greek and Roman ideas and practices influence and change this early Christian teaching? Why were the early Christian texts that extolled virginity so patently erotic? How did early Christians view and manage the desires of the flesh? As we pose these questions to our texts, we will also address the impact of these issues on gender debates today, both in the Christian church and in society.

How to Use this Web Site

The tabs at the left guide you to course resources.  Use them to access directions, schedules, research tools and grades throughout the quarter, as needed.  The Class Prep pages provide introductions to each day's readings and questions you will be expected to prepare in advance of each class.
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