Share Course Ware
Humanities > Religion > Foundations of Theology: Biblical and Historical
 Foundations of Theology: Biblical and Historical  posted by  member7_php   on 3/9/2009  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
Further Reading
More Options

This material was created or adapted from material created by Notre Dame OCW faculty member, Gary Anderson, Associate Professor, 2005. Copyright © 2006, Gary Anderson.

Foundations of Theology: Biblical and Historical

Fall 2005

Mary In Fog Extended

Statue of Mary in County Kerry, Ireland.
Image courtesy of Bradley C. Gregory

Course Description

This is an introductory course to the Bible and historical Christianity that aims to familiarize the student with the contents of the Bible and the development of the early Church.  Special emphasis is placed on theological themes of perennial interest and the significance of the Bible for Christian thought and practice as well as the relationship of Christianity to Judaism.

About the Professor

Professor Anderson's research interests concern the role of ritual and sacrifice in biblical religion, the reception of the Bible in early Judaism and in Christianity, and the theological task of relating modern approaches to the study of biblical texts to the tradition of the church. He has had particular interest in the way apocryphal and pseudepigraphic texts, as well as early Christian and Jewish art, can be used as sources for early biblical commentary. He has recently completed a book on early Jewish and Christian interpretations of the story of Adam and Eve, The Genesis of Perfection: Adam and Eve in Jewish and Christian Imagination.


THEO 10001

Foundations of Theology

MWF at 12:50
Hesburgh Library 107
Prof. Gary A. Anderson
Office hours:  by appointment
Graduate Assistant:  Mr. Bradley Gregory        
Purpose of the course:
To familiarize the student with the contents of the Bible and the development of the early Church.  Special emphasis will be placed on theological themes of perennial interest and significance of the Bible for Christian thought and practice as well as the relationship of Christianity to Judaism.
Required texts: 
The HarperCollins Study Bible : New Revised Standard Version With the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1997).
Other readings:
Various secondary readings will also be required and can be found in the appended bibliography (internet links are provided for documents in the public domain).  These readings will be listed as author with the title of the article or book.  For example, for the tenth session of this course you will find the reading Levenson, Sinai and Zion, 23-36. 
Formal requirements:
Regular attendance at all required sessions. 
For the homework assignments, students will turn in a substantial paragraph (not to exceed one page) that answers a question that the instructor will pose about the reading.  These answers should demonstrate a thoughtful consideration of both the Biblical text and the assigned secondary reading when applicable.   


Component Percentage
Homework Assignments 15%
Periodic Quizzes 60%
Final Examination 25%


Session Topic Readings (Biblical and Secondary) Key Dates
  1  Introduction    
 2 How to Read the Bible    
 3 Primeval History Genesis 1-11  
 4 Call of Abram Genesis 11-13; Levenson, Death, 82-88  
 5 Quiz #1   Quiz #1 
 6 Life of Abraham Genesis 13-24; 25:12-28; 29:31-30:24; Levenson, Death, 88-110  
 7 Joseph, Part I Genesis 37-50 (skim 25-36); Levenson, Death, 143-156   
 8 Optional Session: The Bible & Prayer Casey, "Lectio Divina"   
 9 Joseph, Part II Genesis 37-50; Levenson, Death, 161-169   
 10 Covenant Formulary Exodus 1-5; 12:1-36; 13:17-15:21; 19-21; Joshua 24; Levenson, Sinai and Zion, 22-36   
 11 Quiz #2   Quiz #2 
 12 The Law Exodus 20:1-17; Leviticus 19:9-10; 25:23-25; Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Sirach 3:1-16; Levenson, Sinai and Zion, 56-70   
 13 Ruth Ruth   
 14 No Class    
 15 Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah Genesis 6-9; 18-19   
 16 The Golden Calf Exodus 32-34; Numbers 13-14   
  17  Optional Session: Catholic and Protestant Bibles Harper Collins Study Bible, xxxvii-xl; Vatican II: "Dei Verbum"  
 18 Jonah, Part I Jonah; Psalm 86:15; 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Nehemiah 9:17  
 19 Jonah, Part II Jonah; Simon, Jonah, 22-38  
 20 Quiz #3   Quiz #3 
 21 The Exile and Eschatology Read these pairs in tandem: Jeremiah 25:1-14 and Daniel 9; 2 Chronicles 36 and Ezra 1-3;  Isaiah 40:1-11 and Mark 1:1-8; Isaiah 2:1-4; Daniel 7; McBride, "Biblical Literature in Historical Context"  
 22 Jesus, The Exile, and the Gospel of Mark Mark 1:1-8:21  
 23 No Class    
 24 The Passion in the Gospel of Mark Mark 8:22-10:52  
 25 Jesus and Chosenness Mark 11:1-16:8   
 26 Quiz #4   Quiz #4 
 27 Resurrection Ezekiel 36-37; Matthew 28; Luke 24; Acts 1:1-11; Romans 6:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15   
 28 Jewish Law and Early Christianity Genesis 17; Matthew 5:17-48; Acts 15; Galatians 5:2-15   
 29 Optional Session: the Immaculate Conception Luke 1   
 30 The Season of Advent Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37; Seitz, "Isaiah in the New Testament"; Pontifical Biblical Commision   
 31 Doctrine of Original Sin Romans 5:12-21; Anderson, "Biblical Origins and the Problem of the Fall"   
 32 Quiz #5   Quiz #5 
 33 Doctrine of Creation Genesis 1:1-2:4; Proverbs 8:22-31; Sirach 24; John 1:1-18  
 34 Doctrine of Atonement Athanasius, "On the Incarnation," pp. 55-65  
 35 Optional Review Session    
 36 Quiz #6   Quiz #6 
 37 No Class    
 38 Handing Jesus over to Death Mark 14-15; Ephesians 1:3-14; Anderson, "Joseph and the Passion of our Lord"; Ackley, "Christ Presented to the People"  
 39 Poverty of Spirit (Johannes Baptist Metz) Genesis 2-3; Matthew 4:1-11; Philippians 2:6-11; Metz, Poverty of Spirit; Percy, Lost in the Cosmos, 10-17 (optional)  
 40 Optional Session: The Blessed Virgin Mary    
 41 The Creed Philippians 2:6-11; The Nicene Creed; Steinmetz, "Uncovering a Second Narrative"   
 42 The Creed (continued)   Tell A Friend