RGST 400

Note on Study of Religion 400 in 2020W

In the 2020W term, UBC will not yet offer “Study of Religion 400” (RGST 400) which will replace “Religion, Literature and the Arts 471” (RGLA 471). However, this will not pose a problem for students completing either a degree in RGLA or RGST. In both these programs, students can complete the Research Requirement of the Faculty of Arts by enrolling in “R” designated classes with content that is relevant to their specialization (see full list here).

Of course, enrolling in upper-level courses outside of your specialization can at times be difficult. For this reason, we have ensured that two upper-level courses with a focus on religious studies and which fulfil the faculty’s research requirement have reserved seats for students specializing in RGST and RGLA. These courses are GERM 404: Religion and German Literature and RELG 415: The Life and Thought of Paul of Tarsus. Please find an introduction to these courses below.

RELG 415: The Life and Thought of Paul of Tarsus

In 1 Corinthians 9:22, Paul declares, “I have become all things to all people that I might by all means save some.” Through careful analysis of Paul’s letters in the New Testament and his legacy among subsequent generations of Christians as well as some modern thinkers, we will discover just how true this statement was. During the term, we will engage with multiple, often conflicting, interpretations of Paul’s life and thought. This class thus serves as a historical introduction to Pauline thought and its development in early Christianity as well as a critical primer in the methods and politics of biblical interpretation.
The course is divided into three units. In the first, we investigate some of the most prevalent portraits of Paul among scholars, paying particular attention to the question of whether Paul was a Christian or a Jew, and a Greek or a Roman. The second unit decenters Paul—that is, it employs different methodological frameworks in order to use Paul’s letters to reconstruct an internally diverse minority movement that quickly spread throughout the eastern provinces of the Roman empire. Unit three turns to sources that have reimagined Paul from antiquity to our contemporary age, treating each of these sources as products of particular historical contexts.
This course has no prerequisites and requires no background knowledge on Paul. However, this is a fourth-year seminar and student participation and assignments will be evaluated accordingly.


Find the Course on the SSC.

GERM 404: Religion and German Literature

This course explores the connection between literature and religion in the German-speaking world from the middle ages to the late nineteenth century. We will begin by exploring the formative phase of this relationship in the Middle Ages, as Christianity becomes the dominant faith among the Germanic peoples of Western and Central Europe. Subsequently, our focus will lie on the developments from the early modern period to the Enlightenment: the effects of the Reformation, the religious poetry of the Baroque era, and the secularization of the literary discourse. Finally, we will discuss the monumental shifts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the Haskalah brings Jewish voices to the fore, as scholars and artists make the case for religious pluralism, and as criticism of religion becomes mainstream.


Click here for further information about GERM 404.

Find GERM 404 on the SSC.