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Martha G. Newman, Chair BUR 529, Mailcode A3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-7737

Martha G. Newman

Ph.D., 1988, Stanford University

Department Chair; Associate Professor
Martha G. Newman

Contact

  • Phone: (512) 232-2264
  • Office: BUR 418 / GAR 3.408
  • Office Hours: FALL 2012: W 2-4
  • Campus Mail Code: A3700 / B7000

Biography

Martha Newman is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies and serves as the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.  Dr. Newman received her Ph.D. in Medieval History from Stanford University and her B.A. in History from Harvard University.  Her research focuses primarily on medieval Christian monasticism, especially monastic miracle collections and monastic attitudes toward women and the poor.  She is the author of The Boundaries of Charity: Cistercian Culture and Ecclesiastical Reform, 1098-1180, as well as a number book chapters and articles dealing with Medieval Christianity.  Her current book-project, entitled Miracle and Doubt in Late Twelfth-Century Monasticism, looks at expressions of religious uncertainty in medieval monastic life.

Aside from her current position as Chair of the Religious Studies Department, Dr. Newman has also served in numerous service positions during her tenure at UT-Austin, including Associate Chair of the History Department, Associate Director of the Plan II Honors Program, and Director of the History Honors Program.  She has given a number of invited talks on Medieval Studies and medieval Christian monasticism, and has been the recipient of numerous awards for her teaching, including the Eyes of Texas Excellence Award.  Her classes include the introductory course “Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” and “The Twelfth-Century Renaissance.”

Interests

Medieval Christian monasticism | monastic miracle collections | monastic attitudes toward women & the poor

R S 304 • Judaism, Christianity, Islam

44480 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.112
(also listed as CTI 304, HIS 304R, ISL 311, J S 311 )
show description

This course explores the principal beliefs and practices of Jews, Christians and Muslims and the historical development of the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.   In so doing, it will fulfill the Cultural Diversity Flag by increasing your familiarity with the beliefs and practices of different cultural groups in the United States.   At the same time, it will provide an introduction to the field of religious studies by exposing you to some of the interdisciplinary methods used to understand religion as a central component of human culture.  These will include historical methods, the study of ritual, and the analysis of ideas.  Finally, this class has an ethics component that will encourage your reflection about the ways you speak about religion, and the implicit definitions you use, and the implications of these choices for real-life situations.

 

John Corrigan, Frederick Denny, Carlos Eire, Martin Jaffe, Jews, Christians, Muslims:  A Comparative Introduction to Monotheistic Religions  (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, Second Edition, 2012)I>clicker+ (this is an electronic device, not a book.  If you already have an i>clicker – any model – you do not need to purchase another;  check to see if you need new batteries. This syllabus has the pages numbers for the Second Edition.   I will post on Blackboard a syllabus with the page numbers for the First Edition. Noted readings can be found on the Blackboard site.  Materials will be placed in folders under “Course Documents.”Strongly Recommended:The HarperCollins Study Bible, ed. Wayne Meeks  (New Revised Standard Version, also known as NRSV)The Qur’an. Trans. M. A. S. Abdel Haleem.  (Oxford, 2004).You do not need to by a Bible or a Qur’an if you already own one.  Be aware, however, that translations differ, and we will occasionally discuss the implications of this. On-line resources:The NSRV is also available on line at: http://www.devotions.net/bible/00bible.htm .If you are interested in comparing translations of the (Christian) Bible, see http://ntgateway.com/multibib/bible.htm. For an English (JPS) translation of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), see http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/jpstoc.htmlFor the Qur’an on line see: http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/browse.html  M.H. Shakir, trans. (Tahrike Tarsile Qu’ran, 1983),;  to compare translations, see  http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/All websites on this syllabus can be found as “hot links” on Blackboard, in a folder under “Course Documents.”

•Class participation:   10% = 100 pts.   You will  receive 1 point for every i>clicker question you answer.  There will be approximately 110 questions over the course of the semester).   You will get 10 free points to compensate for lost i>clickers, sick dogs, broken cars, and other unforeseen disasters.   No excuses or makeups except for documented absences. •In-class i>clicker quizzes   10% = 100 pts.   Expect one question a day, starting Jan 23.    There will be at least 35 questions @3pts per question.  Again, you will receive at least 5 extra points.  No excuses or makeups except for documented absences. •Intellectual journal  20% = 200 pts     Graded as acceptable or unacceptable;  you get 9 pts per acceptable entry for a total of 20 entries.    20 pts reserved for quality.  See below for further information.  Due weekly.•Midterm essay  20%  = 200 pts  Due March 25.•Ritual observation assignment  20%  = 200 pts  Due April 15•Final Exam 20% = 200 pts.  TBA once the exam schedule is posted.

R S 304 • Judaism, Christianity, & Islam

43815 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am BUR 216
(also listed as CTI 304, HIS 304R, ISL 311, J S 311 )
show description

This course will explores the principal beliefs and practices of Jews, Christians and Muslims and the historical development of the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  At the same time, the course will provide an introduction to the field of religious studies by exposing students to some of the interdisciplinary methods used to understand religion as a central component of human culture, including historical methods, the study of ritual, and the analysis of ideas.

This class carries both a Cultural Diversity and an Ethics and Leadership flag.

R S 375S • Myst/Visn/Heretic In Medvl Eur

43805 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 2.128
(also listed as AHC 330, HIS 350L )
show description

Mystics and visionaries claim  to have a particular encounter with the divine that transcends ordinary human experience.  In this course, we examine particular mystical and visionary experiences within the context of medieval European Christianity.   We will read writings both by and about figures such as Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Catherine of Siena, Margarete Porete, and Meister Eckhard, and we will investigate the interpretative questions these writings raise for historians and scholars of religion.   We will explore the tensions between individual experience  and communal or institutional religion; the kinds of authority and challenges to authority that these experiences created;  the relationship between experiences of the spirit and practices of the body; and the problem of expressing what is unexpressible.  Finally, we will examine the ways in which scholars have studied these types of religious experiences. This course will have a writing flag, and thus students are expected to write frequently, substantially, and with peer input.  Students will write 5 response papers to the weekly readings, and will work through the stages of writing a research paper.   While the course readings will focus on medieval Christian mystics and visionaries, students are welcome to write research papers on figures from other religious traditions or to examine mystics or visions from the early modern or modern period.

Books will include:

Hanson, Ron.  Mariette in Ecstasy

Kroll, Jerome, and Bernard Bachrach,  The Mystic Mind:  The Psychology of Medieval Mystics and Ascetics

Fanning, Steven.  Mystics of the Christian Tradition

McGinn, Bernard.  Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism.

Selected Writings of Hildegard of Bingen.

In addition, a set of  articles and primary source readings will be placed on Blackboard.

 

Grading

5 1-2 page papers:    3% each  =  15%

research project prospectus   =  10%

research paper (10-15 pages)  draft  = 15%

peer responses  = 10%

final research paper  = 25%

class participation  = 25%

R S 375S • Myst/Visn/Heretic In Medvl Eur

44370 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 0.132
(also listed as HIS 350L )
show description

350L

Mystics and visionaries claim  to have a particular encounter with the divine that transcends ordinary human experience.  In this course, we examine particular mystical and visionary experiences within the context of medieval European Christianity.   We will read writings both by and about figures such as Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Catherine of Siena, Margarete Porete, and Meister Eckhard, and we will investigate the interpretative questions these writings raise for historians and scholars of religion.   We will explore the tensions between individual experience  and communal or institutional religion; the kinds of authority and challenges to authority that these experiences created;  the relationship between experiences of the spirit and practices of the body; and the problem of expressing what is unexpressible.  Finally, we will examine the ways in which scholars have studied these types of religious experiences. This course will have a writing flag, and thus students are expected to write frequently, substantially, and with peer input.  Students will write 5 response papers to the weekly readings, and will work through the stages of writing a research paper.   While the course readings will focus on medieval Christian mystics and visionaries, students are welcome to write research papers on figures from other religious traditions or to examine mystics or visions from the early modern or modern period.

Books will include:

Hanson, Ron.  Mariette in Ecstasy

Fanning, Steven.  Mystics of the Christian Tradition

McGinn, Bernard.  Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism.

Petroff, Elizabeth.  Medieval Women’s Visionary Literature.

Selected Writings of Hildegard of Bingen.

Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of Simple Souls.

 

In addition, a set of  articles and primary source readings will be placed on Blackboard.

 

Grading

5 1-2 page papers:    3% each  =  15%

research project prospectus   =  10%

research paper (10-15 pages)  draft  = 15%

peer responses  = 10%

final research paper  = 25%

class participation  = 25%

R S 304 • Judaism, Christianity, & Islam

43520 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.110
(also listed as CTI 304, HIS 304R, ISL 311, J S 311 )
show description


RELIGIOUS  STUDIES 304;  HISTORY 304R

(Jewish Studies 311,  Islamic Studies 311, CTI 304 + CTI 111)

JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY,  ISLAM:  AN INTRODUCTION

 

Dr. M. Newman                                                            Office: Burdine 410

Spring 2010                                                                        Office hours:  Wednesday 1:30-3:00

Unique nos. 38990, 43520, 41480, 39925, 33097                                    or by appointment

UTC 3.110                                                                        email:  newman@mail.utexas.edu           

MWF 10                                               

 

TA:  Lior Sternfeld                       

Office hours:   Mon 11-12;  Wed 12-1;  Fri 11-12, or by appointment.           

Office:  Burdine 454                       

Email:     <lior.sternfeld@mail.utexas.edu>

Core Texts and Ideas seminar:

Dr. Patrick Gardner

Office Hours:  T Th  3-5 or by appointment

Office:  WAG 401 D

Email: <patrickmgardner@gmail.com>

Students interested in enrolling in a 1-credit hour discussion section can contact the office of the Core Texts and Ideas Program to enroll in CTI 111.                                    

I. BOOKS

The following books are available in paperback:

Required:

John Corrigan, Frederick Denny, Carlos Eire, Martin Jaffe, Jews, Christians, Muslims:  A Comparative Introduction to Monotheistic Religions  (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1998)

Documents and readings on the Blackboard site.  Materials will be placed in folders under “Course Documents.”

Recommended:

The HarperCollins Study Bible, ed. Wayne Meeks

The Qur’an. Trans. M. A. S. Abdel Haleem.  (Oxford, 2004).

On-line resources:

The NSRV is also available on line at: http://www.devotions.net/bible/00bible.htm .

If you are interested in comparing Christian translations of the Bible, see http://ntgateway.com/multibib/bible.htm

For an English (JPS) translation of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), see http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/jpstoc.html

The Qur’an is also available on line: http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/browse.html  M.H. Shakir, trans. (Tahrike Tarsile Qu’ran, 1983), or  http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/

(multiple translations, interesting but hard  to use).

All websites on this syllabus can be found as “hot links” on Blackboard.

II.  COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADES

I grade using +/- on letter grades.  For my grading scale, see Blackboard, course documents. 

5 quizes @ 4% each = 20%                          Sept 20, Oct 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 3, Nov. 22

2 short papers  = 10% total                          Sept 3, Dec 3                       

2 projects @ 20% each = 40%            Due  Oct 11, Nov. 10

final exam  =  25%                                    Due  Wed. Dec 8.

attendance  =  5%                                    Starting Sept 1

Attendance policy:  We will take attendance starting on Sept 1 (after adds and drops is over).  You will receive a point for each class you attend of the remaining 38 classes.    Your attendance grade will be the percentage of 37 classes:  that is, your accumulated points divided by 39, multiplied by 100.  You thus receive one free absence;  students with perfect attendance will receive the extra credit.  Other than this one class, excused absences will be granted only for a documented medical problem, a religious holiday, or an absence due to official university business;  expect a request for written documentation although this may be waived in the case of a flu outbreak.              

Statement on academic integrity:  Don’t cheat.  I report all cases of scholastic dishonesty to the Dean of Students.  My recommended penalty for cheating on tests or plagiarism on papers is an F for the course.  If you are unsure about the exact definition of scholastic dishonesty or what constitutes plagiarism, you should consult the information about academic integrity produced by the Dean of Students Office: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/acint_student.php

Make-up Exams:  I will only give a make-up exam if a student misses a test because of a documented medical problem, a religious holiday, or official university business.  In all cases, I should receive valid written documentation for the absence.  If the absence is due to university business, I should receive this documentation at least one class prior to the exam.

Students with Disabilities:  Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities (471-6259) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.

Religious Holidays:  Students can make up work missed because of a religious holiday as long as they provide the instructor with documentation before the holiday occurs.

Blackboard:  Course information, handouts, assignments, review sheets, etc. will be posted on the class website on Blackboard.  To find the Blackboard site, and go to:  http://courses.utexas.edu/  and log in with your EID and password.  Readings can be found under “Course Documents.”

Academic Assistance:  In addition to the assistance of the assigned teaching assistants, students may wish to utilize the academic services provided by the UT Learning Center (UTLC). The UTLC is a student academic service that offers both group and individualized programs to help increase efficiency in college-level writing, reading, and learning strategies.  All UTLC programs, except appointment tutoring, are free to all currently enrolled students. The UTLC is located in the Jester Center, Room A332A

III. Course Goals

This course will explores the principal beliefs and practices of Jews, Christians and Muslims and the historical development of the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  At the same time, the course will provide an introduction to the field of religious studies by exposing students to some of the interdisciplinary methods used to understand religion as a central component of human culture, including historical methods, the study of ritual, and the analysis of ideas.

IV. Schedule of Lectures

I. Studying Religion

Reading (August 25-30):  Nye, “Religion: Some  Basics”  [Blackboard]

1. August 25  Introduction

2. August 27  What is religion?

3. August 30  Defining religion

II.  Rituals and Foundational Stories

            Reading (Sept 1-3): Genesis 9.1-9.17;  15.1-18.15;  21.1-22.19;  Exodus 19;

Deut. 4.44-11.32; 2 Corinthians 1-3,  Romans 4

                        Qur’an Surah 3.78-3.130

 

            4. Sept 1 Abrahamic religions                                      

5. Sept 3  The idea of covenant 

*short paper due*

Sept 6  LABOR DAY

Reading (Sept 8-20)Corrigan JCM:  pp 213-234;  277-295; 341-368.

 

            6. Sept 8  Passover 

                        Reading: Exodus 3; Exodus 6-7;  Exodus 11-15.

            7. Sept 10  Ritual analysis

                        Reading:  Haggadah excerpts (blackboard)

8. Sept 13 Jews as the Chosen People

            Reading: Psalm 115, Psalm 145; Deut. 12-17.

                        613 Mitzvot (on blackboard)

9. Sept 15 Exile and  Redemption

            Reading:  Deut. 27-30; Isaiah 57-58; Psalm 27

10. Sept 17 Written and Oral Torah

            Reading: Pirke Avot 1 (blackboard)

            Tractate Ta’anith 27b (blackboard)           

            Tractate Menahoth 109b-110a (blackboard)

11. Sept. 20 Enacting this History QUIZ 1

            Reading: daily prayers (blackboard)

Reading (Sept 22-Oct 4): Corrigan JCM:  pp. 235-255; 296-322;  368-396.

12. Sept 22  Easter

            Reading: Luke 22-28

13.  Sept 24  Ritual Analysis 

            Reading:  Easter liturgies (blackboard)

14. Sept 27  Human Sinfulness  

            Reading: Genesis 3-10;  Psalm 51;  Isaiah 11

15. Sept 29  Jesus the Redeemer

            Reading Matthew 5-6; John 3;  Romans 5-8

16. Oct 1 Presence and Remembrance

            Reading Matthew 26;  Mark 14 (compare to Luke 22);  John 6           

17.  Oct 4  Enacting this History  QUIZ 2

            Reading:  Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Lord’s Prayer (blackboard)

Reading (Oct 6-Oct 18): Corrigan, JCM, pp. 256-273;  323-338;  397-416.

 

18. Oct. 6  Hajj 

            Reading: Qur’an Surah 2. 196-219.  Malcolm X on the Hajj (Blackboard)           

19.  Oct. 8  Ritual Analysis 

            Reading:  schematic of the Hajj (blackboard);

            Talbiyah prayer   (blackboard)

20. Oct 11  Muhammad the Prophet

Reading: Life of Muhammad [Sirat Rasul Allah of Ibn Ishaq] (excerpts) (blackboard)

Qur’an  Surah 96;  Surah 1, Surah 87.

*Project 1 due*

21. Oct. 13:  Forming the Umma

            Reading: Qur’an Surah 2

22.  Oct. 15  Sunni and Shia

Reading: Elegies on the death of Husayn (blackboard)

23.  Oct 18:  Enacting this History  QUIZ 3

            Reading: Salat prayers (blackboard)     

III.  Texts and Authorities

            Reading (Oct 20-Nov 10)Corrigan, JCM:  pp. 1-72; 155-211

24.  Oct. 20  Ancient kingdoms and their texts

            Reading:  Genesis 1-2; Genesis 6-9;  Genesis  37.                       

25.  Oct. 22   Apocalyptic

            Reading:  Daniel 7-8;  Daniel 10-12

26.  Oct. 25   Paul’s epistles

            Reading:  1 Thessalonians

27.  Oct. 27  Gospel variants

            Reading: Mark 13-16, John 19; (review Luke 21-24);

                        excerpt from Gospel of Thomas (blackboard)

28.  Oct. 29  Bishops and the Biblical Canon

            Reading: Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch; Irenaeus of Lyons (blackboard)

29.  Nov. 1  Rabbis and the Oral Torah  

                              Reading: excerpts from the Talmud (blackboard)

                              sample Talmud page (follow the hyperlinks!): http://www.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/TalmudPage.html#Page

30.  Nov. 3 Christians and Jews QUIZ 4

            Reading:   Matthew 23, 27;  John 8.  Acts 7;  1 Thessalonians 2

31.  Nov. 5  The Qur’an

             Reading:  Qur’an Surah 17, Surah 53, Surah 10

32.  Nov. 8  The Sunnah of the Prophet

            Reading:   Qur’an  Surah 62   

            Examples of hadith (blackboard)

33.  Nov. 10  Schools of Law and the Ulama

            Reading:  Al-Baghdadi on the law and its variations (Blackboard)

*Project 2 due*

Reading (Nov 12-Dec 3)Corrigan JCM:  pp. 75-151

34.  Nov. 12  Jews, Muslims, Christians and the encounter with classical thought

            Reading:  excerpts from Ibn Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas  (blackboard)

35.  Nov. 15  Christians and Muslims;  the Crusades 

            Reading; Urban II at Clermont (blackboard)

36. Nov.  17 Mysticism

            Reading: Sufi poems and prayers (blackboard)

37.  Nov. 19 Christian Reformation;  Sola scriptura

            Reading: Luther on his conversion  (blackboard)

38.  Nov. 22  Jewish Orthodoxy and Reform QUIZ 5

            Hand out final exam questions

            Reading:  Pittsburgh Platform of 1885;  Columbus Platform of 1937 (balckboard)

39.  Nov. 24: Individual conferences

Nov 26:  THANKSGIVING 

39.  Nov. 29:  Reopening the gates of Itjihad? 

            Reading:  TBA

40. Dec. 1  Jews and Muslims in the Middle East

            Reading;  TBA

41.  Dec. 3 Conclusions 

*short paper 2  due *

This course contains a Cultural Diversity flag.

R S 304 • Judaism, Christianity, & Islam

44490 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1100-1200 UTC 3.104
show description

Description

This course asks students to recognize the ethical implications of the ways we talk about religion – both our own religion (if any) and those of others. Choosing definitions for religion is an ethical choice with social, political, and civic implications; the goal of this course is to assist students in becoming self-conscious about that choice. In so doing, students will improve their ability to tolerate and reduce moral disagreements about religious beliefs and practices, something that is at the heart of practical ethics education. Specifically, the ethical issues in this course encourage students to: • reflect on different definitions of religion, to choose which ones appeal to them, and to explore their implications • analyze the ways in which religions form “communities of memory,” to consider in what ways these communities create boundaries that both enclose and exclude • understand the different ways that religions have historically intersected with with politics, with science, and with culture •consider how these intersections might influence the students’ perceptions of religion and the ways in which religion is presented in contemporary media and popular culture.

 

Texts

Required:

John Corrigan, Frederick Denny, Carlos Eire, Martin Jaffe, Jews, Christians, Muslims:  A Comparative Introduction to Monotheistic Religions  (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1998)

Documents and readings on the Blackboard site.  Materials will be placed in folders under “Course Documents.”

Recommended:

The HarperCollins Study Bible, ed. Wayne Meeks

The Qur’an. Trans. M. A. S. Abdel Haleem.  (Oxford, 2004).

Grading

The course requirements are the following:

Reading response journal: 20% 

Short paper on definition of religion: 5%

Quizes : 25%

Midterm essay: 25%

Final essay: 25%

Publications

Books & Articles

  • The Boundaries of Charity:  Cistercian Culture and Ecclesiastical Reform, 1098-1180.  Stanford University Press, 1996.
  • "Disciplining the Body, Disciplining the Will:  Hypocrisy and Asceticism in Cistercian Monasticism."  In Asceticism and Its Critics: Historical Accounts and Comparative Perspectives, edited by Oliver Freiberger.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • “Contemplative Virtues and the Active Life of Prelates.”  In Bernard of Clairvaux:  On Baptism and the Office of Bishops.  Cistercian Publications, 2005.
  • "Text and Authority in the Formation of the Cistercian Order:  The Early Cistercians Read Gregory the Great."  In Reforming the Church before Modernity:  Patterns, Problems and Approaches, edited by Louis Hamilton and Christopher Belitto.  Ashgate Press, 2005.
  • "Crucified by the Virtues:  Laybrothers and Women in Thirteenth-century Cistercian Saints' Lives."  In Gender and Difference in the Middle Ages, edited by S. Farmer and C. Pasternack.  University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
  • "Real Men and Imaginary Women:  Engelhard of Langheim Considers a Woman in Disguise."  Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 78 (2003).
  • "Stephen Harding and the Creation of the Cistercian Community."  Revue Bénédictine 107 (1997).
  • "Prayer, Protection, and Politics:  The Cistercian Order and its Bishops."  Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History 18 (1991).
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