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Aug 29 (T): Course introduction

No reading, no online assignments


Aug 31 (Th): Why the body? Why Early Christianity?

Reading: *Jennifer Glancy, Corporal Knowledge, 3-23


Sep 5 (T): Bodies and Societies

Reading: Brown, Body and Society, 5-32; Aristotle, On the generation of animals (selection); Aristotle, Politics (selection); Galen, On the usefulness of parts (selection); *Soranus, Gynecology (selection)


Sep 7 (Th): The Philosopher's Body

Reading: Shaw, Burden of the Flesh, 27-78; *Musonius, On asceticism and Cynic epistles


Sep 12 (T): Messianic Bodies

Reading: Brown, Body and Society, 33-44; Selections from gospels (on incarnation, marriage, sex, resurrection); 2 Baruch (selection)


Sep 14 (Th): The Pauline Body I: Sex, Meat, and the Spirit

Reading: 1 Corinthians; Brown, Body and Society, 44-57; *Dale Martin, The Corinthian Body, 163-97


Sep 19 (T): The Pauline Body II: Slaves, Women, and Children

Reading: 2 Corinthians; Philemon; *Jennifer Glancy, Corporal Knowledge, 24-47


Sep 21 (Th): Chaste Bodies: After Paul

Reading: *Acts of Thecla; 1 Timothy; *Kate Cooper, The Virgin and the Bride, 45-67


Sep 26 (T): Broken Bodies: Martyrologies

Reading: *Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne; *Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas; *Stephanie Cobb, Dying to Be Men, 92-116


Sep 28 (Th): Gnostic Bodies

Reading: Apocryphon of John; Brown, Body and Society, 103-21

Oct 3 (T): Manichean Bodies

Reading: Parable of the Pearl-Borer; Manichean Psalm; *Jason BeDuhn, "The Battle for the Body in Manichaean Asceticism," in Asceticism, ed. Richard Valantasis and Vincent Wimbush (Oxford, 1995), 513-19; Body and Society, 190-209


Oct 5 (Th): "What is asceticism?"

Reading: *Richard Valantasis, "A Theory of the Social Function of Asceticism," Asceticism, ed. Valantasis and Wimbush, 544-52; *Walter Kaebler, "Asceticism," in Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Lindsay Jones, 1:526-30

Draft Analysis Paper #1 due to Sakai; bring printed copy to class


Oct 10 (T): Transforming Bodies: Origen and Transcendence

Reading: Origen, On First Principles (selection); Brown, Body and Society, 160-77

Oct 12 (Th): NO CLASS (Professor out of town)

Revised Analysis Paper #1 due to Sakai

Oct 17 (T): NO CLASS (Fall Break)

Oct 19 (Th): Hungry Bodies: Fasting and Salvation

Reading: Tertullian, On Fasting; Shaw, Burden of the Flesh, 79-128


Oct 24 (T): Monastic Bodies, I: Desert Life

Reading: *Life of Antony (selection); Brown, Body and Society, 213-40


Oct 26 (Th): Monastic Bodies, II: Communal Life

Reading: *Rule of Pachomius; *Caroline Schroeder, Monastic Bodies: Discipline and Salvation in Shenoute of Atripe (University of Pennsylvania, 2007), 54-89

Midterm essay due

Oct 31 (T): Cloistered Bodies

Reading: *Jerome, Epistle 22; Brown, Body and Society, 366-86


Nov 2 (Th): Bodies in Drag

Reading: *Life of Pelagia; *Patricia Cox Miller, "Is There a Harlot in This Text? Hagiography and the Grotesque," Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 33 (2003): 419-35; *Marjorie Garber, Vested Interests (selection)


Nov 7 (T): Virgin Bodies, I: Marriage, Death, and Society

Reading: *Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity ; Brown, Body and Society, 285-338


Nov 9 (Th): Virgin Bodies, II: Mary

Reading: *Athanasius, First Letter to Virgins; Zeno of Verona, On the Nativity II; Brown, Body and Society, 340-65


Nov 14 (T): Christ's Body

Reading: Tertullian, On the Flesh of Christ; Severus of Antioch, Letter to Caesaria (on Christ's foreskin); *Virginia Burrus, Saving Shame: Martyrs, Saints, and Other Abject Subjects (University of Pennsylvania, 2008), 43-47


Nov 16 (Th): Primeval, Angelic, and Resurrection Bodies

Reading: *Augustine, City of God (selections); Shaw, Burden of the Flesh, 161-219

Article analysis due in class


Nov 21 (T): NO CLASS (Professor out of town)

Nov 23 (Th): NO CLASS (Thanksgiving)

Nov 28 (T): Bodies in Color

Reading: *"Gay Byron, Symbolic Blackness and Ethnic Difference in Early Christian Literature, 1-15, 104-21


Nov 30 (Th): Flat Bodies: Icons and images

Reading: John of Damascus, On Divine Images (part I); *Patricia Cox Miller, The Corporeal Imagination: Signifying the Holy in Late Antiquity (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), 164-78


Dec 5 (T): Final Thoughts

Reading: Brown, Body and Society, xxi-lxvii and 428-447

Take home final exam distributed; due on Monday, December 11, by 5pm to Sakai







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