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Lesley Dean-Jones, Chair 2210 Speedway, Mail Code C3400, Austin, TX 78712-1738 • 512-471-5742

Steven J. Friesen

Other faculty Ph.D., Harvard University

Professor of Religious Studies and Classics: Louise Farmer Boyer Chair in Biblical Studies
Steven J. Friesen

Contact

Biography

Research Interests: Religious Studies, Poverty and inequality in the early Roman Empire, Apocalyptic literature, Imperial cults, Urban contexts of religion: Corinth and Ephesus

Fields: Christian origins, Greco-Roman religion, Study of religion

Additional Titles: Louise Farmer Boyer Chair in Biblical Studies; Fellow, Institute for the Study of Antiquity and Christian Origins (ISAC)

 

 


Interests

Religious Studies; Poverty and Inequality in Early Roman Empire; Apocalyptic Literature; Imperial Cults

C C 383 • Early Jewish/Christn Lit II

33385 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 200pm-500pm BUR 436A
(also listed as R S 385K, R S 385L )
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Studies in various aspects of Greek and Roman literature, history, and culture.

C C 380 • Ephesian Religion And Economy

33742 • Spring 2014
Meets W 200pm-500pm BUR 436A
(also listed as R S 386C )
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Ephesian Religion And Economy

Friesen, Steven J.

Taylor, Rabun M.

This seminar takes Ephesos as a setting in which to focus on the analysis of religion and economy.  The temporal parameters include the Hellenistic, Roman imperial, and Late Antique periods.  Theoretical readings deal with ancient religion, ancient economy, material culture, and materialist theories of religion.  Participants will analyze aspects of Ephesian architecture, urbanism, and material culture with an eye to their religious and economic implications.  Participants will also write an article-length paper.  The paper may examine one of the Ephesian monuments or one of the many ancient texts about religion and Ephesos.

C C 348 • Beyond The New Testament

33220 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GEA 114
(also listed as R S 353 )
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There are three broad goals for this course: to increase familiarity with the content  of a range of early Christian texts not found in the Bible; to explore the historical and cultural contexts of the groups that composed these texts and passed them on; and to learn to use systematic methods of textual interpretation.  We will focus on texts such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, and the Gospel of Peter; the Acts of Paul, the Acts of Thecla, and the Acts of John; the Apocalypse of Peter, the Apocalypse of Paul, and the Secret Book of John.  Students will be expected to read the texts carefully and be prepared to discuss them in class.  The course will include consideration of the reasons these texts were not included in the Christian Bible.

 

 

Texts:

Bart D. Ehrman, Lost Scriptures: Books that did not make it into the New Testament (Oxford Univ. Press, 2005).  ISBN 978-0195182507.

Mark Allan Powell, What is Narrative Criticism? (Augsburg, 1991). 978-0800604738

Other readings TBA

 

 

Assignments:

40%     Exams (midterm & final).

35%     Research paper.

10%     Misc. writing.

15%     Participation.

 

 

 

GK 312L • Intermed Greek II: Biblical Gk

33390 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 436A
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This course is taught at the second year (4th semester) level and is intended to introduce students to the characteristics of Hellenistic or Koine Greek as found in biblical literature. Like GR 312K it is also intended to review and strengthen grammatical principles while increasing both the speed and accuracy of reading ability.  Reading a selections of Biblical Greek authors or literature is a valuable way of doing this since it allows students to encounter several distinctive writing styles and syntactic tendencies.   Texts:

Nestle-Aland (eds.), Novum Testamentum Graece. If the 28th revised edition is published in time, we will use that:Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, ISBN: 978-3-438-05160-8 or 978-3-438-05156-1. The 27th rev. ed. will also be acceptable. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993. ISBN: 3438051036.  ISBN 3-438-05115-X has the same Greek text plus a handy dictionary in the back.

Bruce M. Metzger, Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek.  3rd ed.  Baker: Grand Rapids, MI, 1998.  ISBN 978-0-8010-2180-0

Bauer, Danker, et al. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed., Univ. of Chicago, 2001. ISBN 0-226-03933-1 

Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. N.Y.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2004.  ISBN 0-19-516122-X

 

C C 304C • Intro To The New Testament

33035 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 800am-930am GAR 0.102
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 315N )
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An introductory survey of the highlights of Greek and Roman civilization and early Christianity. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

C C 304C • Intro To The New Testament

32900 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WEL 2.246
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 315N )
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Description:

This course focuses on some of the most influential religious texts in human history the 27 texts that were included in the New Testament. In addition, we will also read several other ancient texts that did not make it into the Christian Bible. During the semester we will explore the content of these texts, theories about how they were produced, methods used by scholars to interpret them, and conclusions that specialists reach about their significance. In the process, students will also have a chance to reflect on the general nature of human religiosity.

 

Grading:

25% Paper, approximately 700 words. 30% Exams, 2 @ approx. 15% each 25% Final exam 10% Attendance and participation 10% Misc. small tasks.

Texts:

1. The Harper Collins Study Bible, NRSV including apocryphal and deuterocanonical books, Student Edition; Harper Collins, 2006 (ISBN 978-0-06-078683-0). 2. Mitchell Reddish, An Introduction to the Gospels, Abingdon Press, 1997 (ISBN: 0687004489).3. E. P. Sanders, Paul: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford Univ. Press, 2001 (ISBN 0192854518).

C C 348 • Revelation And Apocalyptic Lit

33366 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BEN 1.126
(also listed as R S 353 )
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This course surveys the origins of apocalyptic literature in Hellenistic Judaism and its later development among early Christians, dealing both with historical context and literary features. There is an emphasis on reading and discussion of several exemplary texts, including portions of Daniel, 1 Enoch, and the Revelation of John. The final section of the course deals with the significance of apocalypticism in American religion and culture.

Texts

Greg Carey, Ultimate Things: An Introduction to Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature (Chalice, 2005).

Mitchell Reddish (ed.), Apocalyptic Literature: A Reader (Hendrickson, 1995).

David Barr, Tales of the End: A Narrative Commentary on the Book of Revelation (Polebridge, 1998).

Grading

40% Exams (midterm & final). 35% Research paper. 10% Misc. writing. 15% Participation.

C C 304C • Intro To The New Testament

32190 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WEL 2.246
(also listed as R S 315N )
show description

This course focuses on some of the most influential religious texts in human history the 27 texts that were included in the New Testament. In addition, we will also read several other ancient texts that did not make it into the Christian Bible. During the semester we will explore the content of these texts, theories about how they were produced, methods used by scholars to interpret them, and conclusions that specialists reach about their significance. In the process, students will also have a chance to reflect on the general nature of human religiosity.

Texts:

1. HarperCollins Study Bible, Including Apocryphal Deuterocanonical Books (Student Edition) NRSV.  HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-0786630.
2. Bart Ehrman, A Brief Introduction to the New Testament.  Oxford Univ. Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0195369342.
3. iClicker (a classroom response device, not a book). ISBN 9780716779391.

Grading:

22% Paper, approximately 700 words. 60% Exams (2 @ approx. 18% each, 23% final exam). 12% Attendance and participation. 6% Misc. small assignments.

C C 348 • Beyond The New Testament-W

32540 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 330pm-500pm RAS 310
(also listed as R S 353 )
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Cross-listed as CC348

C C 312L • Sec-Yr Gk II: Sel Biblical Gk

32720 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 900-1000 CBA 4.326
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see attachment

C C 304C • Intro To The New Testament

32630 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WEL 3.502
(also listed as R S 315N )
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Goals of the Course

I hope this course will help you begin (or carry further) a lifelong interaction with the texts in the New Testament. They are among the fundamental religious texts of the world, and they are especially important in a western cultural context. There is no prerequisite for this course. By the end of the semester, the conscientious student will have read most of the New Testament as well as some other early Christian texts that were not included in the New Testament. We will survey the texts, the history of their production, the methods employed by scholars in understanding them, and conclusions that have been reached. In the process, I trust that you will also have a chance to reflect on the general nature of human religiosity.

Requirements

     1. Class attendance and participation is essential for you to gain the most from this course. Absences will hurt your grade.
     2. Reading. During the semester you will have the opportunity to read quite a few early church texts, including most of those in the New Testament. The modern readings about the ancient texts have been chosen to help you understand the ancient texts better. Knowledge of both ancient and modern texts will be assumed in the exams.
     3. Paper. There will be a few short writing assignments during classes. Outside of class, each student will write an analysis of a gospel text after going through the Daily Intelligencer. The purpose of the writing is for you to develop your critical thinking, and to engage in the process of interpretation. This is not a full research paper, but you will be expected to be familiar with issues discussed in class and in your reading.
     4. Exams. There will be two exams during the semester plus a final exam.

Required Texts

HarperCollins Study Bible, Including Apocryphal Deuterocanonical Books (Student Edition) NRSV.  HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-0786630.
Bart Ehrman, A Brief Introduction to the New Testament.  Oxford Univ. Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0195369342.
iClicker (a classroom response device, not a book). ISBN 9780716779391.

Optional Texts

Carol Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, eds., Women’s Bible Commentary. Expanded edition; Westminster John Knox, 1998. ISBN 9780664257811.
James L. May, ed., HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Revised edition; HarperCollins, 2000.  ISBN 978-0060655488.

Grading

1. Letter grades indicate the following evaluations.
     A: exceptional work, great!
     B: solid work, well done.
     C: some problems, needs more accuracy or greater depth.
     D: serious problems, but effort made.
     F: unacceptable university work.
2. Plus/minus grading. I use it.  It is possible to earn a maximum total of 490 points in the course.  See below for details on where points come from.
3. Attendance and Participation. Students will need an iClicker (available at the bookstore). We will use this in every class to record responses to questions and attendance.  You earn 1 pt for each session you attend, and during each session there will be an average of about 3 pts. for participation.
4. All work must be completed by the time of the final exam. No incompletes will be given except in extreme circumstances (e.g., serious illness, death in the family). No additional extra credit assignments will be given at the end of the semester.
5. Honesty is a great virtue. I report all cases of academic dishonesty to the dean of students office. Academic dishonesty on any graded assignment will result in no points for that assignment, and perhaps a failing grade for the whole class. Dishonesty includes any kind of cheating; if you are unsure about the exact definition you should consult the General Information Catalogue (scroll way down to 11-802).

Where do points come from?

     Students can earn a total of approximately 490 points in this course. The exact amount possible will depend on how many participation activities there are, and on how often attendance is taken. The point amounts for the other assignments are stable.
     Students who collect 90% or higher of the points possible will earn an A+/A/A- in the course (approx. 441 points or higher). Students who collect 80-90% will earn a B+/B/B- in the course. 70-80% = C range. And so on...
     Here are the assignments in the class and their point values.
 
Points   Assignments                             Percent of grade
 10        Syllabus quiz                                           2%
 20        Map assignments (2 @ 10 pts)                  4%
 80        Exam 1                                                  16%
 80        Exam 2                                                  16%
100       Exam final                                              21%
 15        DI internship assignment                           3%
 15        DI staff writer assignment                          3%
 70        DI gospel paper (= 650-750 word paper)   14%
100       Attendance & participation (approximate)   21%
490       Total possible                                        100%

Disability Services

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.  Please let the professor know about any arrangements that will assist you in your learning.

Contact info for Teaching Team

Prof. Steve Friesen: Burdine 418, Friesen@mail.utexas.edu.  Wednesdays, 10-12, 2-3. 
Mr. Stephen Dove:  Burdine 416, Dove@mail.utexas.edu.  Tuesdays 3:30-5:30.
Ms. Shari Silzell: Burdine TBA, Silzell@att.net.Mondays, 12-2.

C C 348 • Beyond The New Testament

32050 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 300pm-430pm BUR 436A
(also listed as R S 353 )
show description

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

Publications

Books

  • Co-edited with Daniel Showalter.  Urban Religion and Roman Corinth:  Interdisciplinary Approaches.  Cambridge, Mass.:  Harvard Theological Studies; distributed by Harvard Univ. Press, 2005.
  • Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John:  Reading Revelation in the Ruins.  NY:  Oxford University Press, 2001. 
  • Editor.  Ancestors in Post-Contact Religion:  Roots, Ruptures, and Modernity's Memory.  Religions of the World series; Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School; distributed by Harvard Univ. Press, 2001.
  • Twice Neokoros:  Ephesus, Asia, and the Cult of the Flavian Imperial Family.  Religions in the Graeco-Roman World 116; Leiden:  Brill, 1993.
  • Editor.  Local Knowledge, Ancient Wisdom:  Challenges in Contemporary Spirituality.  Honolulu:  East-West Center, 1991.

Articles

  • “The Economy of Paul’s Gospel:  The Jerusalem Collection as an Alternative to Patronage.”  In Paul Unbound: Other Perspectives on Paul, edited by Mark D. Givens.  Peabody, Mass.:  Hendrickson, 2009.
  • “Injustice or God’s Will?  Early Christian Explanations of Poverty.”  In Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society, edited by Susan R. Holman.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Academic Press, 2008.
  • “The Blessings of Hegemony: Poverty, Paul’s Assemblies, and the Class Interests of the Professoriate.”  In The Bible in the Public Square:  Reading the Signs of the Times, edited by Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Jonathan A. Draper, and Ellen Bradshaw Aitken.  Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2008.
  • "Satan’s Throne, Imperial Cults, and the Social Settings of Revelation.”  Invited by Journal for the Study of the New Testament 27, 2007.
  • "Sarcasm in Revelation 2-3:  Churches, Christians, True Jews, and Satanic Synagogues."  In The Reality of Apocalypse:  Rhetoric and Politics in the Book of Revelation, edited by David Barr.  Atlanta:  Scholars Press, 2006.
  • "Injustice or God’s Will?  Explanations of Poverty in Four Proto-Christian Texts."  In The First Century, edited by Richard Horsley.  Vol. 1 of A People's History of Christianity.  Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2005.
  • "Prospects for a Demography of the Pauline Mission:  Corinth among the Churches."  In Urban Religion and Roman Corinth:  Interdisciplinary Approaches (see above). 2005.
  • “Myth and Symbolic Resistance in Revelation 13.”  Journal of Biblical Literature 123, 2004.
  • "Poverty in Pauline Studies: Beyond the So-called New Consensus."  Journal for the Study of the New Testament 26, 2004.
  • “Ephesos B:  The Upper City.”  In The Cities of Paul:  Images and Interpretations from the Harvard New Testament and Archaeology Project.  CD-ROM, edited by Helmut Koester.  Minneapolis:  Augsburg Fortress, 2004.
  • “Religion and Politics in Early Christianity.”  In Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide, edited by Sarah Iles Johnston.  Cambridge, Mass.:  Harvard University Press, 2004.
  • “The Hawaiian Lei on a Voyage Through Modernities:  A Study in Post-Contact Religion.”  In Beyond ‘Primitivism’:  Indigenous Religious Traditions and Modernity, edited by Jacob Olupona.  N.Y.:  Routledge, 2004.
  • “The Beast from the Earth:  Revelation 13:11-18 and Social Setting.”  In Readings in the Book of Revelation:  A Resource for Students, edited by David Barr.  Atlanta:  Scholars Press, 2003.
  • "High Priestesses of Asia and Emancipatory Interpretation."  In Walk in the Ways of Wisdom:  Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, edited by Shelly Matthews, Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, and Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre.  N.Y.:  Trinity Press International, 2003.
  • “Introduction:  Modern Ancestors.”  In Ancestors in Post-Contact Religion:  Roots, Ruptures, and Modernity's Memory (see above). 2001.
  • “Asiarchs.”  Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 126, 1999.
  • “Ephesian Women and Men in Public Religious Office in the Roman Period.”  In 100 Jahre Österreichische Forschungen in Ephesos.  Akten des Symposions Wien 1995, edited by Herwig Friesinger and Friedrich Krinzinger.  Vienna:  Austrian Archaeological Institute, 1999.
  • “Highpriests of Asia and Asiarchs:  Farewell to the Identification Theory.”  In Steine und Wege:  Festschrift für Dieter Knibbe zum 65. Geburtstag, edited by Peter Scherrer.  Vienna:  Austrian Archaeological Institute, 1999.
  • “The Origins of Lei Day:  Festivity and the Construction of Ethnicity in the Territory of Hawaii.”  History and Anthropology 10, 1996.
  • “Revelation, Realia, and Religion:  Archaeology in the Interpretation of the Apocalypse.”  Harvard Theological Review 88, 1995.
  • “The Cult of the Roman Emperors in Ephesos:  Temple Wardens, City Titles, and the Interpretation of the Revelation of John.”  In Ephesos, Metropolis of Asia: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Religion and Culture, edited by Helmut Koester.  Valley Forge, Penn.:  Trinity, 1995.
  • “Ephesos A:  City Center and Curetes St.”  In Archaeological Resources for New Testament Studies (ARNTS) 2, Valley Forge, Penn.: Trinity Press.  1995. With assistance of Christine Thomas.
  • “Abaddon,” “Gabriel,” and “Jehovah.”  In Oxford Companion to the Bible.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • “Olympia.”  In ARNTS 1, Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987.
  • “Corinth A: Architectural Monuments of the Roman City.” In ARNTS 1, Philadephia: Fortress Press, 1987.  With assistance of Allan Janek, et al.
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