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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Postgraduate Course: Women, Gender, and the New Testament: Text and Theory (BIST11022)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) 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 careful analysis of historical texts as well as critical reflection on the methodological challenges involved in studying ancient sources on women and gender. Students will also explore relevant debates in New Testament scholarship.
Course description Academic Description:
This course will enable students to examine one of the major areas of scholarly research and debate in New Testament scholarship, the representation of women and gender in the New Testament. The study of women and gender in these ancient texts has important theological as well as historical implications.
The course will involve careful analysis of historical texts as well as critical reflection on the methodological challenges involved in studying ancient sources on women and gender. Students will also explore relevant debates in New Testament scholarship, in particular the debate over the extent to which it is possible to reconstruct the lives and experiences of ancient women, or whether our texts only give us access to the rhetorical and discursive construction of gender. The course will also consider the construction of masculinity in ancient texts. We will explore 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 close 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, presentations, and coursework in the form of a research essay.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of significant contributions to the historical study of women and gender in the New Testament world.
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the methodological complexities of studying women and gender in the ancient world.
  3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the gendered and rhetorical nature of ancient texts.
  4. Analyse and assess competing scholarly views.
Reading List
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 - Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking
- Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues in the discipline
- Communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists
- 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 secretaryMs Amy MacKinnon
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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