M.A.L.S. Program 742x

& Judaic Studies 782.8sa Prof. Mel Scult

The Sacred and the Self

In this course we shall attempt to examine certain aspects of religion which throw light on the self and on human nature. Our sources will be drawn from many religions and will reflect religion in its traditional setting as well as its contemporary context. Please bring a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures to class on a regular basis.

All the readings are contained in a packet at Far Better Copy on Hillel Place. Please ask for it by my name and the number of the course. The book by Harold Kushner is in the bookstore and at Shakespear bookstore on Hillel Place. You will be required to write a five to ten page paper on Harold Kushner, When Children Ask About God .

Reading and Requirements:

Aug 27 Introduction- Some definitions of Religion- The Sacred and its meaning- The course outline and Requirements

Sept 10 Nature of religion in the modern period.

Reading: Peter Berger, The Heretical Imperative,p.10-29

Sept 24 The Holy Text- Abraham as a model. The Single Person and God

Reading: Genesis 12-22;

Kafka- Parables and Paradoxes,pp.41-45

Oct. 1 Jacob and the Dream. The metaphor of the ladder. Egotism Problem of overcoming the self.

Reading: Genesis 25-28; L. Kushner God was in this Place and I, I did not know , " Egotism" pp. 35-54

Oct. 9 Exodus as a metaphor- Exodus and Black Theology-

[Tues] Reading: Exodus, 1-10

James H. Cone, Liberation- A Black Theology of Liberation,90-102, 212-219;

Michael Walzer, Exodus and Revolution.

Oct 15. No Class for me

Oct. 22 Mt.Sinai- God's Word- How do we understand this phrase?

Reading: Exodus, 11-20; Arthur Green, Seek My Face Speak My Name, 103-114.

Oct. 29 Martin Buber- I and Thou- Creation, Revelation, Redemption-

Reading: Martin Buber, " The Man of Today and the Jewish Bible"

Nov. 5 Feminist Issues in the Bible- The Rape of Tamar- FEminist Issues in Religion generally-What is the problem of patriarchy in religion? What are the possible solutions?

Reading: 2Samuel 13:1-22, Carol Christ, Laughter of Aphrodite,"Yahweh as Holy Warrior",73-81; " A Daughter of the Father God", 93-101; Judith Plaskow and Carol Christ, Weaving the Visions- New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality, Nelle Morton, " The Goddess as Metaphoric Image"109-118, Marcia Falk, "Notes on Composing New Blessings", 128-138.

Nov. 12 The Book of Ecclesiastes- The Search For Meaning

Reading: Ecclesiastes. Entire.

Rami Shapiro, The Teacher of Wisdom

Nov. 19 Paul Tillich -anxiety- anxiety of death- meaninglessness

Reading: Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be,36-55.


Nov. 26 Paul Tillich Continued. Tillich the man. A man and his thought. \the philosophical problem.Tillich's PRivate life-


Rollo May, Paulus- Tillich As Spiritual Teacher. " Paulus' Personal Presence" pp. 25- 36; Recommended. Hannah Tillich,From Time to Time.(Paperback. Available in libraries)

Dec. 3 The Theology of the Self. Ralph W. Emerson.

Reading : " Self Reliance"

Dec 10 The Theology of the Self.

Reading: " Circles"

Dec 17. Final Examination. ON the whole terms work both from class and from reading.