2019-2020 University Catalog 
    
    Nov 12, 2019  
2019-2020 University Catalog
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REL 250 - Truth, Belief, Dissent: Defining Insiders and Outsiders in Ancient, Medieval and Modern Religion


FDR: HU
Credits: 3

Open to all students regardless of class year or major. Who decides what is orthodox [acceptable thought] and what is heretical [unacceptable], how are these decisions made, and what impact do they have on societal definitions of "insider" and "outsider?" What perennial questions emerge in debates about orthodoxy and heresy -- e.g., the powers of states to enforce religious orthodoxy, the joining of political ideologies with religious interests -- and how are those questions addressed in modernity? This course explores the shifting and perpetually uncertain boundaries of truth and identity in religion. The focal religion is Christianity, but comparative religions are in view. Readings include selections from the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, "Gnostic gospels", and other so-called heretical texts, writings from the Church Fathers (with special attention to St. Augustine), medieval heresy trials, a contemporary American novel, and recent scholarly treatments of the boundaries that define "insiders" and "outsiders." Brown.




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