Middlebury

 

Larry Yarbrough

Pardon Tillinghast Prof of Religion; Dir, Scott Center

Email: 
Phone: work802.443.5294
Download Contact Information

Professor Yarbrough, Tillinghast Professor of Religion, teaches biblical studies (both Jewish and Christian scriptures), the origins of Christianity, and religion and literature. He is the author of Not Like the Gentiles: Marriage Rules in the Letters of Paul and co-editor of The Social World of the Earliest Christians. Professor Yarbrough has been at Middlebury College since 1983.

 

Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1351 - Ancient Alexandria      

Ancient Alexandria: Crucible of Religious Innovation
Alexandria was one of the most important cities of the ancient Mediterranean world. Melding elements of Pharaonic Egypt and Alexander the Great’s world, it became a major center for the arts and sciences. It also became a crucible for religious innovation, which will be the focus of this seminar. Reading both ancient and modern sources, we will examine the ways Alexandria’s earliest leaders linked Egyptian and Hellenistic religious traditions, the role of Alexandria’s Jews in the shaping of Diaspora Judaism, the contributions its churches made to the development of Christianity, and how the proponents of these traditions interacted with one another. 3 hrs. sem.

AAL CMP CW HIS PHL

Fall 2011

More Information »

GSFS 0383 - Storied Women      

Storied Women
In this course we will read and analyze stories about women in the Jewish Bible, its Greek translations, and the New Testament, using various historical, literary, and gendered approaches to the study of ancient texts. Though student interests will help determine the final list of the characters we will consider, contenders include Eve, Hagar, Rebekah, Tamar, Deborah, Ruth, Judith, Mary, the women of Paul’s letters, and Revelation’s great whore of Babylon. In addition to recent academic treatments of the stories, we will also consider some of the ways they have been retold through time and in contemporary literature and film. 3 hrs. sem.

LIT PHL

Fall 2014

More Information »

IGST 0706 - MES Senior Thesis      

Middle East Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2013, Winter 2014

More Information »

INTL 0706 - MES Senior Thesis      

African Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2012

More Information »

RELI 0180 / ENAM 0180 - Intro to Biblical Literature      

An Introduction to Biblical Literature ST, WT
This course is a general introduction to biblical history, literature, and interpretation. It aims to acquaint students with the major characters, narratives, and poetry of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, with special emphasis on the ways scripture has been used and interpreted in Western culture. Students interested in more detailed analysis of the material should enroll in RELI 0280 and RELI 0281. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

LIT PHL

Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0262 - The Formation of Judaism      

The Formation of Judaism in Antiquity ST, WT
In 586 BCE, Judah fell to Babylonia; in 638 CE, Byzantine Jerusalem surrendered to the Muslims. Between these two dates Israelite culture transformed into “Judaism.” In this introductory course we will examine the major factors in this transformation, looking first at the Second Temple Period (515 BCE to 70 CE) and then the early Rabbinic Period (70 CE-638). We will read selections from the Bible, Jewish literature from the diaspora, the Mishnah, the Talmuds, and other early Rabbinic literature, as well as secondary literature interpreting these primary texts. The Temple, synagogue, priests, teachers, liturgy and prayers, ethics, women and gender, varieties of Judaism, and relations with “others” are among the topics to be treated. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL HIS PHL

Fall 2011, Fall 2013

More Information »

RELI 0280 - Hebrew Bible /Old Testament      

Studies in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament WT
Studies in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is an introductory course that focuses on a major religious text in the Western tradition. We will closely read diverse selections from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Writings in English translation; no familiarity with the Bible or background is presumed. Special attention will be paid to matters of genre and methods of modern biblical scholarship, as well as Jewish and Christian traditions of interpretation. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Note: Students with sufficient knowledge of Hebrew who would like to study selections from relevant texts in the original should register for RELI 0280B. (HEBR 0102, HEBM 0103, or waiver)/

HIS PHL

Fall 2012

More Information »

RELI 0281 - Studies in the New Testament      

Studies in the New Testament ST, WT
In this introductory course we will examine the early Christian writings that were eventually collected and canonized as “The New Testament.” In studying these works, we will also read representative books that were not included in the canon, with a view to seeing how the New Testament is situated in the diversity and complexity of the early Christian movement. Among the topics we will explore are the uses of Jewish scriptures in early Christian literature, the formation of early Christian groups (including the roles of women), early Christian beliefs and practices related to Jesus, and relations between Christian groups and the larger Greco-Roman world. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

HIS PHL

Fall 2013

More Information »

RELI 0381 - Seminar in the New Testament      

Seminar in the New Testament: Jesus and the Ethics of the Kingdom
In this course we will examine the ethical dimensions of Jesus’ teaching as presented in the gospels and other early Christian writings, setting them in the context of Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman moralists of his day—both of which are treated in modern biblical scholarship. We will look at specific topics (wealth, family, and nonviolence, for example) and broader themes (such as the Kingdom of God); and we will ask about the silence regarding so many other ethical questions. In addition to biblical scholarship related to the study of Jesus and the gospels, we will consider representative explorations of Jesus’ teaching by later writers, such as Augustine, Calvin, Tolstoy, Schweitzer, King, and Niebuhr. 3 hrs. sem.

PHL

Spring 2012, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0383 - Storied Women      

Storied Women
In this course we will read and analyze stories about women in the Jewish Bible, its Greek translations, and the New Testament, using various historical, literary, and gendered approaches to the study of ancient texts. Though student interests will help determine the final list of the characters we will consider, contenders include Eve, Hagar, Rebekah, Tamar, Deborah, Ruth, Judith, Mary, the women of Paul’s letters, and Revelation’s great whore of Babylon. In addition to recent academic treatments of the stories, we will also consider some of the ways they have been retold through time and in contemporary literature and film. 3 hrs. sem.

LIT PHL

Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0387 - Religions of Rome: Good Life      

Religions of Rome: The Good Life WT, ET
In this course we will examine “the good life” as Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian philosophers and moralists wrote about it. Commonly treated in terms of set themes (for example, justice, self-control, civic responsibilities, detachment, and pleasure), definitions of the good life had many common themes but still varied greatly with regard to both what the good life comprised and on what it was based. Primary readings will draw on such writers and works as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Epictetus, Musonius Rufus, Plutarch, wisdom literature in the Hebrew Bible, Philo of Alexandria, Sirach, Tobit, 4 Maccabees, Paul of Tarsus, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the Didache and Clement of Alexandria. Secondary literature will put these works in context and provide models for comparing and contrasting the views they discuss. 3 hrs. sem.

CMP PHL

Fall 2012

More Information »

RELI 0500 - Independent Research      

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0601 - Senior Project in Religion      

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0700 - Senior Project in Religion      

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0701 - Senior Thesis in Religion      

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »