Reading and Class Participation: Students should read assigned texts  (see syllabus)  before class and bring the texts with them to class (Bible, Grimsrud, Hauer & Young, Kraybill). Students are expected to come to class on time and participate in class discussion and group work.

Assignments (any written assignments should be typed):
·         Each student will respond, in written form (2-3 pages) or power point (3-7 min) or video (3-7 min) to the “Jesus and My World” survey (below). Turned in at the beginning of class, August 30.
"Jesus and My World" Survey (by L. Roberts):

1.      How does your gender identification relate to that of the dominant culture? Is it the same or different? Is it problematic?
2.      Is your gender location (identity) an advantage or disadvantage?
3.      Are you a member of the dominant culture? Is this an advantage or a disadvantage?
4.      Are you bicultural? Do you consider this an advantage or a disadvantage? What is your preferred culture?
5.      Is your preferred cultural location (identity) an advantage or disadvantage?
    6. Were you raised in a religious tradition? What did that tradition teach you about the interpretation of the Bible?

    7.Are you presently participating in a religious tradition? How does that tradition make use of the Bible?

    8.Are you a member of the dominant religious group? Of a religious minority?

    9. Is   your religious location  (identity or affiliation an advantage or disadvantage?


    ·         Three times during the semester, students will turn in notes for a “Three Worlds” Assignment. Due at the beginning of class September 14, September 23 and October 7:


    1)September 14: Each student will briefly research the historical or the literary world of a section of the book of Amos and submit one page of notes summarizing their findings.  SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.

    2)September 23: Each student will briefly research the historical or the literary world of a section of Matthew 1-2 (as assigned) and submit one page of notes summarizing their finding. SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.
             3)October 7: Each student will briefly research the historical and the literary world of a section of Matthew 8-13 which they choose. The chosen text   (USE THE SAME TEXT FOR EACH WORLD) should be an actual block (a somewhat self-contained unit) and should be brief enough to be manageable but lengthy enough to be significant. Two pages of notes (one page for each world) summarizing the findings are due.SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.

    Instructions/guidelines for notes:

    ·         Limit yourself to on hour of research time (per world)
    ·         You must use the relevant sections of your textbook(s) for your research. Additional sources may include study bibles, commentaries, introductory texts to the Bible, Old Testament , etc., handbooks or encyclopedias of the Bible or Old Testament. Several resources are linked on the website, right hand side, under ":helpful resources."  It would be best to stick to these resources, as opposed to googling online.  
    Use the descriptions below to help focus your research and fill out the picture of your world of the text. Hauer & Young chapters 1-2 also clarify the three worlds.

    ·         Summarize the key points of your research in one page of notes with your name,  scripture section and world clearly identified.

    ·         Cite the sources you have used.

    ·         Paraphrase and restate, versus simply downloading an entire webpage (The latter shows no independent thought )

    Literary world

    The literary world is the text itself. It involves the world “in” the text, that is the images, stories, insights and questions present in a story or passage itself. The words on the page--stories, songs, sayings, contents of a letter--in a sense create their own world. We explore that world by considering things like major themes, structural elements, the type of writing (genre), character portrayal, plot development (how a story progresses), and general understandings of reality put forward or challenged by a text.

    Historical world

    The historical world is the context shaping and informing the text and its interpretation. It can be thought of as the world “behind” the text--the events, places and people that form the context in which the text was written, transmitted and interpreted. While the literary world restricts itself to the text itself, the historical world looks for information outside of the text to help us better understand and interpret the text, things like links to known historical times, places, situations and persons, or how images, situations, or references in the text would have been understood by the author’s audience. Exploring this world also includes considering when the text was written, by whom, to whom, where, and why.

    ·         Students will prepare a 4-6 page response paper to Donald Kraybill’s The Upside-Down Kingdom. Half the paper should address the following questions related to chapter 3, and the other half should address the same questions related to another chapter (your choice):
    1) Succinctly summarize Kraybill’s argument in the chapter (What point is he trying to make about the kingdom, or Jesus, or what it means to follow him? How does he go about it?)
    2) Indicate whether you find his argument convincing, whether you agree/ disagree, and why.
    Due beginning of class November 11.
    NOTE: alternative to this assignment listed here.

    ·         Students will participate in the “Jesus and Contemporary World” Roundtable  (Details on course website under “Assignments”) held in  class November 18

    Testing:     Midterm October 19       Final Exam December 9  (9-11 am)
    Exams will cover required reading material and class content; the final exam will do so in a cumulative fashion. For all exams, students are allowed one single-sided 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of notes. For all exams, students will be provided with a study guide in advance and a review session will be held in class. Students are required to bring a large bluebook  (or their own paper) for each exam. Bluebooks/paper will be collected and then redistributed.
    NOTE: alternative to this exam listed at the bottom of the page here.