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Santa Clara University
Religious Studies Department, SCU
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  Course Description

The New Testament was written in and against the Roman Empire, yet the history of its interpretation has largely been controlled by privileged elites in Christian empires such as the United States with a stake in maintaining the status quo. Without critical tools, an individual living in the United States today might not be aware of the many ways the New Testament might be read and the ethical implications of these various readings.

This course utilizes post-colonial theory to explore the original contexts of the New Testament books, the reinterpretations of those books in imperial Christianity, and the challenge of "other" interpretations from beyond the mainstream today. Post-colonial theory grew out of the break-down of empires in the 19th and 20th centuries and the emergence of independent nations. This transition created a growing awareness of the ways that dominant empires had defined "the other," that is the subject peoples, so as to justify their subjugation. It was also interested in the ways in which the emerging independent nations began to define themselves. Thus it provides a set of categories and lenses through which we can examine the cultural clashes and fusions that have characterized New Testament composition and interpretation.


How to Use this Web Site

The tabs at the left guide you to course resources.  Use them to access directions, schedules, research tools and grades throughout the quarter, as needed.  If you have any trouble accessing the eight articles on ERes electronically, you can also get them by going to Orradre and checking out the course reader, which has hard copies of them all. There is a list of the required readings on ERes that provides the journal or book sources, and you can always go directly to the source to read the material.
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