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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Biblical Studies

Undergraduate Course: Women and Gender in the New Testament World (BIST10050)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to examine the representation of women and gender in the New Testament and other ancient Jewish, Greco-Roman, and Christian texts. The course will involve analysis of historical texts and introduce students to the methodological challenges involved in studying ancient sources on women and gender. Students will be introduced to scholarly debates about the extent to which we are able to reconstruct the lives and experiences of women in the ancient world, and will explore recent work on the construction of masculinity in ancient texts.
Course description Academic Description:
This course will introduce undergraduate students to one of the major areas of scholarly research and debate in New Testament scholarship, the representation of women and gender in the New Testament and other ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman texts. The course will involve analysis of primary texts in translation as well as critical reflection on the methodological challenges involved in studying ancient sources on women and gender. Students will also be introduced to relevant debates in New Testament scholarship, especially debates about the extent to which we are able to reconstruct the lives and experiences of women in the ancient world. The course will also consider the construction of masculinity in ancient texts. The secondary readings will represent a range of methodologies, including feminist, rhetorical, socio-historical, and theological approaches.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course will begin with an introduction to some of the methodological debates surrounding the study of women and gender in the ancient world. The first few weeks will focus on attempts to reconstruct the lives of ancient Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman women, and we will then move on to consider the representation of gender in specific New Testament texts, including the gospels, the letters of Paul, and Revelation.

Student Learning Experience:
Students will read both historical texts and scholarly literature relating to the interpretation of those texts. Seminars will involve analysis of the historical sources and discussion of the secondary literature, with some input lectures as appropriate. Students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes through participation in seminar discussion, an essay, and a final examination.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students are welcome to take this course. They should have at least 3 Divinity/Religious Studies courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  34
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Participation (including 500 word analysis of one week's readings in the form of a blog entry) = 10%

1500 word essay = 30%

Final exam = 60%
Feedback Students will receive feedback on an essay plan submitted in advance of the coursework essay.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of significant scholarly contributions to the study of women and gender in the New Testament world.
  2. Students will demonstrate a critical understanding of the methodological complexities of studying women and gender in the ancient world.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to write an essay showing independent, critical analysis.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to engage in constructive scholarly debate with other seminar members.
Reading List
R. Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (2002)
B. Brooten, Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue (1982)
C. Conway, Behold the Man: Jesus and Greco-Roman Masculinity (2008)
L. Huber, Thinking and Seeing with Women in Revelation (2013)
T. Ilan, Jewish Women in Greco-Roman Palestine (1996)
T. Ilan, Integrating Women into Second Temple History (1999)
K. King, The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (2003)
R. Kitzberger (ed.), Transformative Encounters: Jesus and Women Re-viewed (2000)
R. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2011).
A.J. Levine, Women Like This: New Perspectives on Jewish Women in the Greco-Roman World (1991)
S. Moore and J.C. Anderson (eds.), New Testament Masculinities (2003)
T. Pippin, Death and Desire : The Rhetoric of Gender in the Apocalypse of John (1992)
B. Rossing, The Choice between Two Cities : Whore, Bride, and Empire in the Apocalypse (1999)
J. Schaberg, The Illegitimacy of Jesus: A Feminist Theological Interpretation of the Infancy Narratives (1990).
J. Schaberg, The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene: Legends, Apocrypha and the Christian Testament (2002)
E.Schussler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her (1983)
Vander Stichele, Caroline, and Todd Penner, Contextualizing Gender in Early Christian Discourse: Thinking beyond Thecla (2009)
B. Wilson, Unmanly Men: Refigurations of Masculinity in Luke-Acts (2015)
B. Witherington, Women in the Ministry of Jesus (1984)
A. Yarbro Collins (ed.), Feminist Perspectives on Biblical Scholarship (1985)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will:
Identify and analyse problems
Exercise critical judgment
Communicate effectively with peers and more senior colleagues
Take responsibility for their own work
Develop sensitivity to issues of diversity
KeywordsWomen,gender,New Testament,bible,feminism,early Christianity
Course organiserDr Philippa Townsend
Course secretaryMr Rory Meehan
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