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  REL 102: Understanding Christianity          recommended resources

Spring Semester • 2013


Schedule
 
Evaluation
 
Resources
 
Back to the syllabus
 
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 Recommended books (* = highly recommended)

* 

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha (NRSV), 3rd ed. (NB: table of contents, introductions, essays, tables, glossary, maps—all are very helpful) You may use another Bible, if you wish, but the New Oxford Annotated Bible (NOAB) will be the common text for class assignments and discussions. In all cases, you are encouraged to use other English translations (e.g., NIV) and Bibles in other languages in addition to the NRSV. The Tanakh is especially recommended for comparison of Old Testament passages.

* Achtemeier, Paul. Inspiration and Authority: Nature and Function of Christian Scripture. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999.

Allen, Diogenes. Christian Belief in a Postmodern World: The Full Wealth of Conviction. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

_______. Philosophy for Understanding Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1985.

_______. Primary Readings in Philosophy for Understanding Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Armstrong, Karen. A History of God. New York: Ballantine Books, 1993. [comparative history of the three major monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam]
* Brown, Raymond E. Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine. Wipf & Stock, 2002.
* _______. Responses to 101 Questions on the Bible. New York: Paulist Press,1990.
* Bultmann, Rudolf. Jesus Christ and Mythology. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
* Kerr, Hugh T. The Simple Gospel. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991.

Lane, Tony. Harper's Concise Book of Christian Faith. San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1984.
* Lewis, C. S. The Problem of Pain. San Francisco: HarperOne, 1996.new
* McGrath, Alister. Christian Theology: An Introduction. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2010.
* _______. Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2012.
* _______. Theology: The Basics. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2011.
* Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. 5 vols. Chicago: Chicago University, 1989.

_______. Jesus through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.

Robinson, James M. A New Quest of the Historical Jesus. London: SCM Press, 1959.
  Segal, Alan F. Rebecca's Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986.

*

Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1979. (See my Resources page under Miscellaneous for the first edition of Strunk.)



Date


Recommended readings

highlight = R-drive file

 

Week 1

>McGrath resources

>McGrath & Dawkins video interview


>Nicene Creed; also here and here and here

>Apostles' Creed; also here

>NOAB: table of contents, introductions, essays, tables, glossary, maps—skim carefully)

>+Brown, Responses, Q1–4: Translations of the Bible   

>Bible in 50 words

>Bible Contradiction & Responses

>Chronology (info & links)

>Manuscript marginalia (an interesting example)


>Perception quiz

>Calendar

>"Quiz"

>Optical Illusions

>Riddles

>Bible in 50 words

>Bible Hunt

>Study Guide 1 (These may be helpful, but they may not always correspond to the readings.)

>Study Guide 2


>How to Ace College

>Do you know how to think? (a self-exam)

>Tips for writing papers

Week 2


Jesus

Bible

>+Brown, Responses, Q5–10: Genuine and apocryphal books of the Bible

>+Brown, Responses, Q11–14: How to read the Bible


>The Greeks (interactive site): read about Socrates, Plato, etc.


>Blogging the Bible (an interesting viewpoint that might resonate with your life)

>Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts (very helpful)

>Manuscript


>The NT Gateway (excellent Web resources)

>Myth

>O Little Town of Nazareth?

>Resurrection

>Johnson & Spong on Jesus' birth

>Resurrection theories

>More on Jesus' birth (check out "resources" page)


>Take an ethics survey

>Tips for writing papers

>Propaganda Alert & Questions to Ask (NB: helpful for reading texts & writing research papers)

Week 3

Old Testament

>C. S. Lewis: historical Jesus

>From Jesus to Christ

>Video: “From Jesus to Christ," pt.3: Jesus in the Gospels (if you want to see this helpful video, please come see me)

>+Brown, Responses, Q15–17: Church guidance; Q18–22: Why read the Bible

>Redaction & hermeneutics (funny, interesting & instructive)

>Translation comparison

>Basic Synoptic solutions

>Synoptic solutions (found on The NT Gateway)
>The Case Against Q (see 10 Reasons to Question Q)

>From Jesus to Christ

>Redaction & hermeneutics (funny, interesting & instructive)

>Chalcedonian definition (excerpts)

>Chalcedonian definition

>The Diatessaron (also Diatessaron)

>Jesus & Superman? (scroll all the way down to see the comparison)

>C. S. Lewis: historical Jesus
>+Brown, Responses, Q15–17: Church guidance; Q18–22: Why read the Bible
>+Brown: Responses, Q45–60, 69–78

>Video: “From Jesus to Christ,” pt.3: Jesus in the Gospels (AV; very good for review)


>Development of the canon

>Chronology (info & links)

Week 4


New Testament

>Redaction & hermeneutics (funny, interesting & instructive)

>"Immediately"

>From Jesus to Christ

>+Brown, Responses, Q23–27: Is the Bible literally true; Q28–30: Biblical criticism

>Brown: Intro to NT, 817–30 (“The Historical Jesus”); 105–7 ("Portraits of Jesus")

>Resurrection


>Nicene Creed; also here and here and here

>Apostles' Creed; also here

>Gos Thom
>Sec Gos Mk
>Gos Pet
>Inf Gos Thom
>Prot Jas

>Charlesworth: "The Historical Jesus and Exegetical Theology" (Princeton Seminary Bulletin 33 [2001]: 45?63)
>C. S. Lewis: historical Jesus

>Resurrection

Week 5


Background of Christian belief

>+Brown, Responses, Q31–33: Biblical fundamentalism; pp. 137–42; Q34–37: How literally true is the NT


>Tips for writing papers

>Propaganda Alert & Questions to Ask (NB: helpful for reading texts & writing research papers)

Week 6


Core Christian beliefs

>Nicene Creed; also here and here and here

>Apostles' Creed; also here

>"Darwin and Humanity: Should We Rid the Mind of God" (theism v. atheism debate between Alister McGrath & Peter Atkins, 13 Mar 2007; or try this or this

>Dawkins-McGrath debate (23 Mar 2007)

>Bahnsen-Stein debate (the "great" debate, 1985)

>+Brown, Responses, Q38–44: The Gospels; Q45–51 Jesus' words and deeds

>Creation retold (humor)

Week 7


Core Christian beliefs

>Nicene Creed; also here and here and here

>Apostles' Creed; also here

>Chalcedonian definition (excerpts)

>Chalcedonian definition

>+Brown, Responses, Q52–53: Jesus' resurrection; Q54–60: Jesus' birth


>Tips for writing papers

>Propaganda Alert & Questions to Ask (NB: helpful for reading texts & writing research papers)

Week 8


Core Christian beliefs

>Nicene Creed; also here and here and here

>Apostles' Creed; also here

>+Brown, Responses, Q61–68: Mary (esp. of interest to Roman Catholics); Q69–76: Jesus' knowledge

Week 9


History of Christianity

>+Brown, Responses, Q77–78: Foundation of the church; Q79–85: The sacraments


>Tips for writing papers

>Propaganda Alert & Questions to Ask (NB: helpful for reading texts & writing research papers)

Week 10


History of Christianity

>+Brown, Responses, Q86–88: Early Christians and the Jews; Q89–92: Early Church administration

Week 11


History of Christianity

>+Brown, Responses, Q93–96: Who celebrated the eucharist; Q97–100: Peter and the popes


>Tips for writing papers

>Propaganda Alert & Questions to Ask (NB: helpful for reading texts & writing research papers)

Week 12


Global View

>+Brown, Responses, Q101: How much has the church changed; 137–42 (esp. of interest to Roman Catholics)

Week 13


Life of Faith

>The Divine Liturgy (Orthodox)

>The Roman Catholic Mass updated


>Tips for writing papers

>Propaganda Alert & Questions to Ask (NB: helpful for reading texts & writing research papers)

Week 14

>+Brown, Responses: Q1–10, 19–27

Final week