Center for Medieval Studies Graduate Courses Fall 2015

MVST 5077 (4)    Editing Medieval Texts                                       Call#27616                                           (Reilly)                  R 5:30-8:00

This course explores the theory and practice of editing medieval texts. We will study how different types of edition influence our readings of texts, whether in literary criticism, historiography, theology, or other disciplines of medieval studies. Through practical exercises and a final editorial project, we will see how such editions get made and what choices underlie them. Our choices will be informed by reading both foundational and contemporary articles that argue for a particular rationale or editorial practice (Lachmannian, Best-Text, facsimile, documentary, versioning, etc). Special attention will be given to editorial practice in the digital age.

ENGL 6209 (3/4) Themes in Preconquest Literature                Call#27331                                           (Chase)                  T 4:00-6:30

This course is an advanced-level seminar on the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon England. We will read (in Old English) a variety of texts from the period, including poetry, homilies, saints’ lives, and chronicles. Prior knowledge of Old English is expected.

ENGL 6231 (3) Late Medieval Women: Reading, Texts, Audiences          Call#27332                            (Erler)                 M 2:30-5:00
The course will study women as producers and consumers of literature, that is as writers and readers. Instead of examining women as subjects of literary representation, we will use non-literary disciplines–social history, bibliography, iconography–to recover elements of women’s lives in order to understand their involvement with reading. Like much current medieval scholarship, the class will employ cultural perspectives in which literature, history, and visual materials illuminate each other.

HIST 6078 (4) The Crusader States:                                               Call#27124                                           (Paul)                     W 5:30-8:00
The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem 1099-1291                                                                                               

This course charts the social, political, and cultural history of the feudal principalities that were established by Latin Christians in the Eastern Mediterranean in the wake of the First Crusade. Students will be introduced to the narrative and documentary sources through which the history of the Latin Kingdom has been constructed, as well as the archaeology and art of the Levant during the period of Frankish occupation and settlement. In addition, we will engage with the major historiographical debates concerning the constitutional organization of the Latin kingdom, the relationship between the Frankish crusaders and the Muslim and eastern Christian populations over whom they ruled, and the “colonial” character of the Latin settlements.

HIST 7110 (4)PSM: Church Law and Medieval Society              Call#27619                                           (Mueller)              M 5:30-8:00

The course will consist of a two-semester pro-seminar/seminar sequence inviting graduate students to formulate and pursue original research projects in the field of medieval church law.  Possible study questions may address a wide range of issues, including legal theory and judicial practice, contemporary uses and perceptions of ‘canonical justice’.  The pro-seminar will be devoted to becoming familiar with the bibliography and tools available for original investigations into the subject.  It will also assist students in defining their own research topics.   The seminar in the spring of 2016 will provide a forum for the presentation, discussion, and refinement of each participant’s scholarly work, which should eventually result in a 30 to 50-page essay.

PHIL 7039 (3) Aquinas’s Philosophy of God                                  Call#27183                                           (Davies)                 W 7:00-9:00               

Aquinas is often, and rightly, taken to be a theologian who assumes that certain truths have to be revealed to us by God since we lack the ability to demonstrate them. But he also engaged in what is commonly called ‘natural theology’ — i.e. philosophical argumentation aiming to prove that there is some knowledge of God to be attained by human reason. In this course we shall be looking at Aquinas’s natural theology, chiefly as presented in his Summa Theologiae, but also as we find it in his Summa Contra Gentiles. We shall see how Aquinas approaches the notion of natural theology in general. We shall then see how Aquinas argues for certain conclusions concerning the existence and nature of God. Given the importance of natural theology for Aquinas’s philosophy as a whole, and given the fact that Aquinas draws on metaphysical notions scattered throughout his writings, the course will provide a serious introduction to Aquinas’s thinking in general. This will be primarily a lecture course, but will include class discussions. Partly to stimulate them, numerous comparisons and contrasts will be made between what Aquinas has to say and what other philosophers have argued since early modern times. The course will relate Aquinas’s natural theology to that of other thinkers, including contemporary analytical ones. This course can satisfy for either the medieval requirement or for the contemporary analytical one. This course will not require a knowledge of Latin, and it will not presuppose any previous familiarity with the thinking of Aquinas or that of any other medieval philosopher.

THEO 5300 (3/4) History of Christianity I                                   Call#27136                           (Lienhard)                            W 5:00-7:30         

The history of the doctrines and theology of Christianity from New Testament times to A.D. 1500.  Topics treated are the canon of the Bible, the Trinity, the Person of Christ, grace and predestination, and the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  To accompany this study, books by some classic authors will be read: Jean Leclercq, Joseph Pieper, Etienne Gilson, and others, along with W. H. C. Frend’s The Rise of Christianity.

THEO 6305 (3) Introduction to Rabbinic Literature                  Call#27133                           (Gribetz)                               T 1:00-3:30
In this course, students will explore the vast corpus of rabbinic literature and the historical, intellectual, religious, social, legal and political circumstances in which rabbinic Judaism developed in Palestine and Babylonia between the first and seventh centuries C.E.  Students will gain experience reading different genres of rabbinic texts; become familiar with cutting-edge scholarship in the field; experiment with various methodologies in the study of late antiquity; and learn about a formative period in Jewish history.  The course will cover a range of topics, including biblical exegesis, the development of tradition, the relationship between law and literature, inter-religious tolerance and conflict, scholasticism, women/gender/sexuality, interactions between lay and religious authorities, the development of ritual, the transmission of oral and written texts, manuscripts, and reception history.  The course is designed to train graduate students in a range of disciplines and fields – theology, history, literature, law, classics, medieval studies, women and gender – to be able to use rabbinic sources and methodologies developed in the field of rabbinics in their own research.  The texts will be taught in translation, with optional additional sessions for those interested in reading in the original Hebrew and Aramaic.

THEO 6463 (3) From Lollards to Luther                                    Call#27137                           (Hornbeck)                          R 9:00-11:30

The period between the outbreak of the Black Death and the emergence of Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, and others as leaders of a new “Reformation” was a period of great diversity and contestation in Western Christianity. In this course, we will explore the theology, spirituality, and ecclesio-political ramifications of several reform “movements” in the later middle ages. Our focus will fall primarily on the Lollard or Wycliffite controversies of late medieval England, on fifteenth-century phenomena like conciliarism and the Modern-Day Devout, and on the early Lutheran Reformation, but broader themes (women, preaching, soteriology, academic life, heresy and inquisition) will be treated throughout the semester.

FREN 5090 (0) French for Reading                                             Call#24288                           (TBA)                                     W 8:30-11:00

GERM 5001 (0) Graduate Reading in German I                        Call#15446                           (Hafner)                                TF 11:30-12:45