Fall 2012

Close Reading: The Classics of Judaism and Christianity

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-370

Formerly listed as: RELI-20


Jennie H Barbour (Section 01)


This seminar offers an opportunity for students to engage in the close reading of one or two classic works in the history of Judaism or Christianity. The texts chosen will vary from year to year. In fall 2012 the course will focus on the biblical book of Qohelet / Ecclesiastes. We will examine the questions Qohelet poses to the Hebrew wisdom tradition, focusing on themes of death, justice, meaning, work, fate, and pleasure. Subsequent communities of interpreters have wrestled with the contradictions in the book, and we will study and compare the readings of the early church fathers, rabbinic writings, later thinkers, and the ongoing influence of the book in literature and art.

Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Barbour.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013