Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Two Thirds of Our Miseries"

This poem came out of the February 4, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "Holly - Defense" square in my 2-1-20 card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series. It follows "In the Light of Creative Altruism" and "Becoming, Evolving, Ascending."

Warning: This poem includes religious wrangling and an asshole hurting himself on someone else's superpower.


"Two Thirds of Our Miseries"

[Thursday, October 8, 2015]

They're in the Main Quadrangles today,
the little square part out front of Jones and Kent.

Dazhawn likes working outside, because
that way he can see if he's spilling over
from his friends to affect other people.

Inside a building, the walls block the view,
but he's learned the hard way that they
don't necessarily block superpowers.

There are other clusters of students in
the area, but not so close as to be risky.

The biggest group is busy heckling
some bombastic preacher, some other
graduate student making a fool of himself.

There are also two clusters of theater students
doing improv on the lawn, someone else teaching
a guitar lesson, and the Renaissance Society
swordfighting in a crepe paper tourney ring.

Dazhawn sits in the grass with his legs
tucked under him, watching Micha and Arefa.

Micha loves the way Dazhawn's power feels,
and Arefa enjoys it sometimes too, the way
Dazhawn can guide them into the best parts
of themselves, so he's trying to learn how
to do it gently and on purpose now.

The trick is that he can't actually
influence anyone else, he can only
do things himself and take them with him.

So Dazhawn turns his attention inward,
and they follow him, like balls rolling down
a parachute in a teamwork exercise.

He observes his stream of consciousness,
little flitters of interest in upcoming movies
or class projects he needs to finish or
the latest book that he's read.

Micha and Arefa are
right with him, vivid and
intimate now that Dazhawn
knows what they feel like
inside his superpower.

He can sense, dimly,
both of the theater groups,
fuzzy because they're thinking
of their characters instead of
their own personal identities.

The guitar class is clearer,
the swordfighters brilliant with
their awareness of each other
as well as themselves, and
the preacher a lurid blaze of
self-aggrandizement beyond.

Dazhawn ruffles his ability
at the edge, furling it back
on itself so it doesn't touch
anyone it's not supposed to.

He loses himself in it, a little,
as the guitar lesson ends
only to be replaced by violins
and the students crowded
around the preacher scatter
to head toward their next class.

Someone is packing up
the rattan swords just as
someone else is unpacking
rice-paper wands for a row of
karate students stretching out.

"What are you doing out here,
preparing to sin?" a voice sneers.

"Self-awareness, you should
try it some time," Dazhawn says
without thinking, and that's a problem.

He hears the whump of knees hitting grass.

Dazhawn's eyes pop open to find
the preacher about to crash-land
on him, and he grabs the guy
by the shoulders just as Micha
and Arefa start to scramble up.

"Oh, fuuuuuu ... dge," Dazhawn says.

Arefa waves a hand back and forth
in front of the preacher's face,
but he doesn't even blink at it.

"He doesn't look okay," she says,
frowning. "What happened?"

"I happened," Dazhawn says.

"Arefa, do you know where to find
the nearest EFA?" Micha asks.

She whirls to point toward
the Administration building.
"Right inside the door."

"Run go get some help,"
Micha says, and off she goes.

There isn't any first aid advice
for superpower incidents, so
Dazhawn tries patting the guy
on the back and calling to him.

Still no response, even after
they find a name tag reading
Adonijah North and try
calling him by name.

"This isn't working,"
Dazhawn says tightly.

"All right, let's do what
we can to make him
comfortable," Micha says.

"I'm pretty sure that's not
possible," Dazhawn mutters.

The downed preacher looks
quietly, utterly horrified, as if
he's staring straight into Hell.

Perhaps he is; perhaps
that's what self-awareness
is like for the kind of man
who spends every day
screaming at young people.

"Let's at least get the sign off him,"
Micha says, and okay, that makes
sense. Dazhawn helps him lift off
the sandwich board and set it aside.

The preacher is limp, unresisting
in a way that makes Dazhawn uneasy.

He doesn't like rolling people this way,
and yet it keeps happening anyhow.

Then Adonijah starts to cry.

Arefa comes loping back across
the grass with an Emotional First Aide
in tow, one hand clamped over her face
to hold the veil so it doesn't blow away.

Micha gives a crisp account of
what happened, which is good,
because Dazhawn is too freaked out
to manage a report of that himself.

The Emotional First Aide coaxes
the preacher to his feet and
leads him toward a quiet room.

"I really shouldn't have done that
to him," Dazhawn mutters.

"I don't think you did anything
to him," Arefa says. "I think
that he did it to himself."

"You mean ... I didn't spill,
he just came up and started
bothering me, and then he ...
what, fell down his own rabbit hole?"
Dazhawn says, shaking his head.

"For at least two thirds of our miseries
spring from human stupidity, human malice
and those great motivators and justifiers of
malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism
and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious
or political idols," Micha recites quietly.

"What he said," Arefa agrees, nodding.

So maybe it isn't all Dazhawn's fault
after all, maybe other people have
some part to play in what happens
with his superpower, and that could
explain why it's so hard to control.

Dazhawn wants a cup of Red Heart tea
and for today never to have happened,
but he supposes it could have been worse.

"Come on, you look like you need
to lie down," Micha says, offering
Dazhawn a hand up. "We can
walk you back to your place."

Arefa scoops up the preacher's stuff
to drop off in the lost-and-found on the way.

Dazhawn knows one thing, no matter
how crummy the day has turned out:

He has very good friends.

* * *

Notes:

Adonijah North -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short brown hair with a mustache and beard. He is short and stocky. He wears glasses. Adonijah is a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where he makes a nuisance of himself proselytizing to other students. He's very popular in church, though, where people appreciate his zeal. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies with a minor in Classical Studies, and is working toward a Master of Divinity.
Qualities: Good (+2) Energetic, Good (+2) Knows Everyone in Church, Good (+2) Linguistic Intelligence, Good (+2) Projective Voice
Poor (-2) Proselytizer

Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies at the University of Chicago
Program Requirements

Regular Track
One Introductory-level ("Gateway") course 100
RLST 11004 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
RLST 12000 Introduction to the New Testament: Texts and Contexts.

At least two courses in three major areas (Historical, Constructive, Cultural Studies) 200
RLST 13500. History of Christian Thought V: Modern Religious Thought. 100 Units.
RLST 23820. Shame. 100 Units.
RLST 27250. The Trials of Religion. 100 Units.

Third-year Theories/Methods seminar 100
RLST 28901. Religion, Science, and Naturalism: Is there a Problem? 100 Units.

Seven additional courses in Religious Studies 700
RLST 22313. The Lord's Business: Evangelical Christianity and Corporate Capitalism in Modern America. 100 Units.
RLST 22700. Law in Biblical Literature. 100 Units.
RLST 23706. Calvin: Piety, Politics, and the Theater of God's Glory. 100 Units.
RLST 24788. Guilt, Atonement, and Forgiveness After WWII. 100 Units.
Total Units 1100
RLST 26116. What is Meaning? 100 Units.
RLST 28705. Christian Iconography. 100 Units.
BPRO 25200. Body and Soul: Approaches to Prayer. 100 Units.

Courses

RLST 11004. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 100 Units.
The course will survey the contents of the Hebrew Bible, and introduce critical questions regarding its figures and ideas, its literary qualities and anomalies, the history of its composition and transmission, its relation to other artifacts from the biblical period, its place in the history and society of ancient Israel and Judea, and its relation to the larger culture of the ancient Near East.
Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This course counts as a Gateway course for RLST majors/minors.
Equivalent Course(s): BIBL 31000, NEHC 30504, JWSC 20120, NEHC 20504

RLST 12000. Introduction to the New Testament: Texts and Contexts. 100 Units.
An immersion in the texts of the New Testament with the following goals: 1. through careful reading to come to know well some representative pieces of this literature; 2. to gain useful knowledge of the historical, geographical, social, religious, cultural and political contexts of these texts and the events they relate; 3. to learn the major literary genres represented in the canon ("gospels," "acts," "letters," and "apocalypses") and strategies for reading them; 4. to comprehend the various theological visions and cultural worldviews to which these texts give expression; 5. to situate oneself and one's prevailing questions about this material in the history of research, and to reflect on the goals and methods of interpretation; 6. to raise questions for further study.
Instructor(s): Margaret Mitchell Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Interest in this literature, and willingness to enter into conversation with like-minded and non-like-minded others on the texts and the issues involved in their interpretation.
Note(s): This course counts as a Gateway course for RLST majors/minors.
Equivalent Course(s): BIBL 32500, FNDL 28202, MDVL 12500

RLST 13500. History of Christian Thought V: Modern Religious Thought. 100 Units.
This course will consider key figures in 'modern' religious thought, including Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, Troeltsch, and Barth, paying particular attention to two issues: the possibility of freedom in the face of law-like necessities, and the possibility of thinking for oneself.
Instructor(s): Kevin Hector Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 30900, THEO 30700

RLST 22313. The Lord's Business: Evangelical Christianity and Corporate Capitalism in Modern America. 100 Units.
Throughout United States history, Christianity and capitalism have been inseparable forces for the social and cultural development of the American nation, for better or worse. That is not to say, however, that the relationship between "faith" and "finance" has been stable over time. As economic and religious practices met in fluid social worlds, Christians often debated the boundaries of moral behavior under disparate capitalist regimes. At the end of the nineteenth century, mainline Protestants struggled to reconcile the patronage of industrialist benefactors with the social ravages of industrial capitalism. As some Protestants moved towards a critique of capitalism under the "Social Gospel," others came to embrace new forms of capital and their assumed spiritual effects. This course will investigate the resulting history of fundamentalist and evangelical Protestant support for and appropriation of "corporate capitalism" across the twentieth century. We will engage a series of historical inquiries: On what grounds did certain early-century Protestants defend capitalist society? How did these groups engage capitalism, its ideals and its markets? Moreover, how did capitalism and capitalists, religious or otherwise, respond to this support? What influences, if any, has conservative Protestantism had on economic practice itself? Finally, how can the legacy of corporate, evangelical capitalism shape understandings of recent religious, economic and political issues?
Instructor(s): Greg Chatterley Terms Offered: Winter

RLST 22700. Law in Biblical Literature. 100 Units.
The course will survey topics of biblical law, recover biblical legal reasoning, compare biblical law with comparable ancient Near Eastern records and literature, reconsider the nature of biblical legal composition, interpret biblical legal passages within their larger compositions as pieces of literature, analyze several non-legal biblical texts for the legal interpretation embedded in them, and engage modern scholarship on all these aspects. In addition to preparing to discuss assigned biblical texts, students will also work towards composing an original piece of sustained analysis submitted at quarter's end.
Instructor(s): Simeon Chavel Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): 1 year biblical Hebrew + 1 course in Hebrew Bible
Equivalent Course(s): JWSC 22702, NEHC 32700, BIBL 32700

RLST 23706. Calvin: Piety, Politics, and the Theater of God's Glory. 100 Units.
This seminar will engage a close reading of John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) in English translation, examining how the masterwork moves and instructs its readers toward correlative knowledge of God and of self. We will attend to Calvin's elaboration of true religion or "piety"-especially to his picture of the repair and reorientation of the sensing, feeling, willing, and knowing self before God-and to his depiction of rightly ordered individual, corporate, and civic life over against the bondage of the will and tyrannous powers. The course will further a reading of the work as a rhetorical and pedagogical whole.
Instructor(s): Kristine Culp Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Open to graduate students by permission of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 23706, THEO 33706

RLST 23820. Shame. 100 Units.
This course will consider the nature of shame, its potential harms and benefits, and possible of redeeming/being redeemed from it.
Instructor(s): Kevin Hector Terms Offered: Spring

RLST 24788. Guilt, Atonement, and Forgiveness After WWII. 100 Units.
By what parameters should we assess guilt? What is required to atone for wrong done unto another? Under what circumstances should we forgive harm done to us? This course examines both foundational ethical models and arguments that emerged following the end of WWII concerning issues that arose in the war's wake. We begin the course by reading significant theological and philosophical accounts of ethics, including Genesis, Aristotle, Mill and Kant, and consider what constitutes "guilt" in each. We then draw on these models as we examine significant questions of guilt and atonement that arose in the wake of the Second World War, and explore the particular concerns involved in wrestling with questions of national guilt, collaboration, and assignation of punishment post-war. We will conclude the course by reading arguments that wrestle with the ethics of forgiveness, exploring arguments by a range of theologians, philosophers and other thinkers both for and against forgiving those who have perpetrated harm.
Instructor(s): Bevin Blaber Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): JWSC 24788

RLST 26116. What is Meaning? 100 Units.
It has been said that before we can ask about the meaning of life, we must address the life of meaning. To that end, this class examines the nature(s) of meaning, variously construed in the following, often overlapping terms: linguistic, aesthetic, moral, scientific, religious, and philosophical.
Instructor(s): Lisa Landoe Hedrick Terms Offered: Winter

RLST 27250. The Trials of Religion. 100 Units.
The rhetoric and practice of "trial" -- as testing and as adjudication -- is central to religious thought and religious practice. This course will examine the idea and the act of "trial" comparatively, via the classics of the religious literatures of Judaism and of Christianity (Genesis 22, Job, the Gospel of Mark, "The Pilgrim's Progress," Kafka), and also cinema (Dreyer's "Joan of Arc," R. & S. Elkabetz's "Gett").
Instructor(s): Richard Rosengarten Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 27250

RLST 28705. Christian Iconography. 100 Units.
In Christian culture, visual images have for many centuries played a pivotal role in ritual, devotion, intellectual thought, and religious instruction. The most important aims of this course are that students understand images convey meaning in very unique ways and learn how to decode their visual messages. The study of iconography encompasses a variety of methods used to identify the subject matter of a pictorial image, describe its contents, and analyze its discursive strategies in view of its original cultural context. We will cover some of the most important themes visualized in the arts of Christianity by analyzing imagery spanning different periods, geographical regions, pictorial media, and artistic techniques. While special emphasis is placed on the intersections of art and literature, we will also examine pictorial themes that are independent of a specific textual basis. Alongside the study of Christian iconography, this course will address broader issues of visual inquiry, such as patronage, viewer response, emotions, and gender roles. In this course, students will acquire a 'visual literacy' that will enable them to explore all kinds of works of art fruitfully as primary sources in their own right.

RLST 28901. Religion, Science, and Naturalism: Is there a Problem? 100 Units.
The idea that "religion" and "science" are often fundamentally at odds is familiar, indeed perhaps among the orienting ideas of modernity. Attending to some historically important approaches to the endlessly vexed question of how best to think about religion and science in light of one another, this class will consider such questions as whether the problems seem different if we ask not about religion and _science_, but rather about religion and _nature_.
Instructor(s): Dan Arnold Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course counts as the 3rd year Theories and Methods course for the undergraduate Religious Studies major/minor.
Equivalent Course(s): SIGN 26072

RLST 29800. BA Paper Seminar I. 100 Units.
This class meets weekly to provide guidance for planning, researching, and writing the BA paper.
Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent of faculty supervisor and Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Note(s): RLST 29800 and 29900 form a two-quarter sequence that is required of fourth-year students who are majoring in Religious Studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.

RLST 29900. BA Paper II. 100 Units.
This class meets weekly to assist students in the preparation of drafts of their BA paper, which are formally presented and critiqued.
Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): RLST 29800 and 29900 form a two-quarter sequence that is required of fourth-year students who are majoring in Religious Studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.

BPRO 25200. Body and Soul: Approaches to Prayer. 100 Units.
Why do we pray? Why do we experience prayer practice as reaching out towards an intentional being whom we cannot (except in representation) touch, see, or hear? This course approaches an answer to that question by looking at the way we pray, particularly in a Christian context. What kinds of bodily engagement do we find in prayer; what impact might prayer practice have upon our bodies; what bodily features of prayer might help to explain why its practice has been so compelling to so many for so many years? Instructor(s): Staff Terms Offered: Not offered in 2020-2021
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 28800


Minor Program in Classical Studies at the University of Chicago
The minor in Classical Studies requires a total of seven courses in Greek, Latin, or classical civilization. Students may choose one of two variants: a language variant that includes three courses at the 20000 level or higher in one language, or a classical civilization variant.
Students must meet with the director of undergraduate studies before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the minor. Students choose courses in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. The director’s approval for the minor program should be submitted to a student’s College adviser by the deadline above on a form obtained from the adviser.
CLCV courses in the minor (1) may not be double counted with the student’s major(s) or with other minors and (2) may not be counted toward general education requirements.
Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be courses completed at the University of Chicago.
The following groups of courses would comprise a minor in the areas indicated. Other programs may be designed in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. Minor program requirements are subject to revision.

Greek (or Latin) Sample Variant
One of the following sequences: 300
LATN 20100-20200-20300 Intermediate Latin I-II-III
CLCV 23820 Debating Christians and Other Adversaries: Greek and Syriac Dialogues in Late Antiquity 100
Total Units 700

CLCV 23820. Debating Christians and Other Adversaries: Greek and Syriac Dialogues in Late Antiquity. 100 Units.
This course will examine the composition and significance of dialogues for Christian polemic and identity formation. The quarter will begin with an overview of dialogues from Classical Antiquity before examining the new directions Christian writers followed as they staged debates with pagans, Jews, Manichaeans, and alleged "heretical" Christians. Reading these works in light of modern scholarship and with an eye to late antique rhetoric, students will gain insights into the ways theological development took place in the crucible of debate.
Instructor(s): Erin Galgay Walsh Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 20360, HCHR 40360, BIBL 40360, CLAS 33820


Master of Divinity at the University of Chicago
Degree requirements
The MDiv degree requires registration for three full years of scholastic residence, with the completion of a minimum of 29 courses distributed across the Divinity School’s areas of study. Along with acquiring a broad foundational knowledge about religion, students are encouraged to anchor themselves more deeply to one of the school’s discourses: historical studies, constructive studies, or religion and the human sciences.
First Year
These requirements or equivalent courses in other traditions are most often completed during the first year of study:
1) The masters-level introductory course, “Introduction to the Study of Religion” (DVSC 30400).
(Some students may choose to substitute “Classical Theories of Religion.”)
2) Theology in the Public Square (CHRM 32500).
3) Coursework in the scripture and/or history of the student’s chosen tradition.
HCHR 36916 - Reading Greek Literature in the Papyri
THEO 46006 - Approaches to Suffering: Theological Perspectives and Contemporary Meditations
4) Introduction to Theology (THEO 31600) or a comparable course in the philosophy or thought of the student’s chosen tradition.
5) Participation in the weekly reflection seminar and field education experience for first-year students, Introduction to Religious Leadership and Practice: Colloquium (CHRM 30500).
6) Acquisition of basic skills in a relevant textual language such as Koine Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Quranic Arabic, Sanskrit, or Tibetan followed by a course in scriptural or textual exegesis employing the language.
BIBL 35100 - Introductory Koine Greek I
BIBL 35300 - Introductory Koine Greek II
BIBL 36000 - The Johannine Epistles

Second Year
These requirements are most often completed during the second year of study:
8) The Arts of Religious Leadership and Practice: a three-quarter sequence including Ritual and Speaking; Spiritual Care and Counseling; and Community, Leadership, and Change (CHRM 35100, 35200, 35300).
9) Three quarters of field education in a community of practice, including successful completion of the practicum (Field Work Practicum I, II and III) which meets weekly across the entire second year.
10) One course, selected in consultation with the instructor and the Director of Ministry Studies, for which the student submits a constructive paper; to be completed before participation in the Senior Thesis Seminar. RLVC 50010 – Writing Religion

Third Year
These requirements are most often completed during the third year of study:
11) Completion of the Senior Thesis Project, including enrollment in the Senior Thesis Seminar which meets
monthly across the year. The project consists of two parts:
a) A thirty-five page thesis.
b) The oral presentation of the project in an appropriate public forum that includes student colleagues, members of the Committee on MDiv Studies, and wider audiences as appropriate.

Any of the three years
These requirements may be completed at any time across the three years of MDiv residence:
12) At least two history courses in the student’s chosen tradition.
HCHR 35200 - Medieval Latin The Practice of Carolingian Saints’ Tales.
HCHR 35200 - Medieval Latin
13) At least one course in a religious tradition other than the student’s own.
RLVC 41150 – Art & the World Religions: First Millennium from India to Ireland
14) An additional unit of approved and supervised field work

Courses

RLVC 41150 – Art & the World Religions: First Millennium from India to Ireland
This course, building on the recent Empires of Faith project at the British Museum will explore the interface of visual and religious identity in the formative period when all the religions currently considered ‘world religions’ were developing their characteristic iconographies. The course will attempt to open comparative and historical perspectives on religion through material
culture, interrogating the normative models of constructing religion through written rather than visual sources. Students will be encouraged to work from images as well as texts. The course is open to graduates as well as undergraduates, and will be taught in a speeded up form twice a
week for the first five weeks of the quarter. Jas’ Elsner

RLVC 50010 – Writing Religion
This will be a course about the craft of scholarly writing. It will consider the conventions and conflicts of writing in a field as interdisciplinary as the study of religion and will explore the opportunities for creativity, voice and style within its various forms through reading and writing. We will work on everything from the sentence to the structuring of book-length manuscripts. The class will be organized to accommodate analysis, discussion and workshop and the final
assignment will be the revision of a seminar paper into an essay suitable for publication. The course is geared primarily for PhD students and should be particularly useful to those in the dissertation writing phase. Sarah Hammerschlag

THEO 46006 - Approaches to Suffering: Theological Perspectives and Contemporary Meditations
Framed by a consideration of Susan Sontag on the representation of suffering, Elaine Scarry on The Body in Pain, and Judith Butler on grievable life, this seminar will seek to extend and enrich such contemporary meditations through conversation with varied theological approaches to suffering. One thesis of the course is that theodicy need not be viewed as the chief theological approach to suffering. Through close reading of selected works, we will consider interpretive
frames such as creation and providence, wounding and healing, and crucifixion and resurrection, together with religious responses such as introspection, contemplation, mourning, witness, and resistance. Prerequisites: previous work in theology recommended; open to undergraduates by permission only. Kris Culp

BIBL 35100 - Introductory Koine Greek I
In this two-course sequence, students will learn the basic mechanics of Koine Greek and begin reading texts from the Greek New Testament and Septuagint. The autumn course and the first three-fourths or so of the winter course will introduce the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and style of the Greek New Testament, and to a limited degree those of the Septuagint, after which point
we will focus on reading and interpreting a New Testament document in Greek at length. Upon the conclusion of the sequence, students will be able to read and comprehend entire passages of Koine Greek text with the aid of a dictionary. This sequence aims to prepare students to successfully participate in a Greek exegesis course. Nathan Hardy
BIBL 35300 - Introductory Koine Greek II
In this two-course sequence, students will learn the basic mechanics of Koine Greek and begin reading texts from the Greek New Testament and Septuagint. The autumn course and the first three-fourths or so of the winter course will introduce the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and style of the Greek New Testament, and to a limited degree those of the Septuagint, after which point we will focus on reading and interpreting a New Testament document in Greek at length. Upon the conclusion of the sequence, students will be able to read and comprehend entire passages of Koine Greek text with the aid of a dictionary. This sequence aims to prepare students to successfully participate in a Greek exegesis course in Spring 2017 or thereafter. Nathan Hardy

BIBL 36000 - The Johannine Epistles
The Johannine Epistles raise fascinating theological and interpretative questions. In this course students will read the Greek text closely, examining the composition, genre, structure, theology, and purpose of these letters. Readings will also include New Testament and early Christian texts that help illuminate the hermeneutical questions and place of the Johannine epistles. Special attention will be paid to the questions surrounding the texts’ authorship and reception within later Christian traditions. Prerequisites: Graduate students who have completed classes I and II of the Koine Greek sequence or equivalent. Various levels can be accommodated; please feel free to consult with instructor. Erin Galgay Walsh

HCHR 30100 - History of Christian Thought I
This first course in the History of Christian Thought sequence deals with the post New Testament period until Augustine, stretching roughly from 150 through 450CE. The aim of the course is to follow the development of Christian thought by relating its structural features to the historical context in which they arose without adhering to schematic models such as East vs. West, orthodoxy vs. heresy, Alexandrian vs. Antiochene exegesis. The following authors and themes will be analysed and discussed: 1. Martyrdom and the Authority of Christian Witness: Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr 2. Platonism and Exegesis: Philo and Origen 3. Incarnation and Asceticism: Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa 4. Ecclesial Unity and Episcopal Authority: Cyprian, Ambrose and Chrysostom 5. Projecting Historical Authority: Eusebius and Jerome 6. Normative Belief and Gnostic Dissent: All About the Creeds 7. Ancient Thought Baptized: Augustine of Hippo. Willemien Otten

HCHR 35200 - Medieval Latin The Practice of Carolingian Saints’ Tales.
Spoken “Lingua Romana rustica” departed from canonical Ancient Latin long before the late eighth century. But at this time the renewed study of the Classics and grammar soon prompted scholars and poets to update the stories of their favorite saints and to inscribe some for the first time. We shall examine examples of ninth-century Carolingian “réécriture” and of tandem new hagiography in both prose and verse by authors such as Lupus of Ferrières, Marcward of Prüm, Wandalbert of Prüm, Hildegar of Meaux, and Heiric of Auxerre. All source readings in Classical Latin adapted to new Carolingian purposes, which we shall also explore historically in their own right. Michael Allen

HCHR 36916 - Reading Greek Literature in the Papyri
The earliest--and often the only--witnesses for Greek literary works are the papyri. This makes their testimony of great importance for literary history and interpretation, but that testimony does not come without problems. In this course we will cover some of the concepts and techniques needed to recover the literary treasure contained in this highly complex material: from the history of book forms, the textual tradition of literary works, and the creation of the canons to more philological aspects such as editorial practice, Textkritik, and paleography. Our literary corpus will include biblical texts, paraliterary (school and magical) texts, and translations of Egyptian texts into Greek. We will work with photographs of the papyri, and every part of the course will be based on practice. As appropriate we will also work with the University of Chicago’s collections of papyri. Sofia Torallas-Tovar

* * *

"For at least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols."
-- Aldous Huxley

See a map of the University of Chicago main quadrangles in Onion City, Illinois.

Self-awareness offers many benefits. Try some exercises for it.

Teambuilding activities include rolling balls on a parachute.

Among the more challenging martial arts exercises is practicing with target hoops. Each hoop is covered with rice paper and held up by a pole. The easier version requires breaking the rice paper without knocking over the pole. The harder version requires making a footprint with chalk or ink on the rice paper, without breaking it or knocking over the pole. It is a test of precision, not force.

Most bad guys think they're good guys. Losing this illusion is very painful. Learn how to recognize evil people.

Enjoy a recipe for Red Heart Tea.
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