The Center for Medieval Studies

Fordham University

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Course Offerings for Spring 2007

MVGA 0910         Maintenance-Medieval      0 Credits               (Staff)                                        Call # 12862

MVGA 8500         Independent Research        2 Credits               (Staff)                                        Call # 12863

MVGA 8501         Independent Research        1 Credit                 (Staff)                                        Call #12864

MVGA 5200  (4)    Medieval Iberian Literature and Society  (Gyug/Jimenez-Belmonte)    Call # 12816      W 4:45-7:15

The religious, linguistic and political pluralism of medieval Iberian society is reflected in its literature, rhetoric and social accommodations. Despite debates about the role of pluralism in forming Iberian identities, pluralism provides models—whether of convivencia or conflict—that now dominate discussions of western medieval culture in general. In the course, Iberian pluralism will be considered through discussion of works and studies on the literature and societies of the Iberian peninsula from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries

ENGA 5217  (3)   Medieval Rhetoric  (Ramsey)                                                                           Call # 12404       R 5:30-7:30

We will explore the Christianization of the classical rhetorical tradition in the West, reading translations of medieval treatises on rhetoric and translations of works that exemplify medieval rhetorical theory in practice; we will also read secondary works that analyze and contextualize those older texts, demonstrating their importance in shaping the medieval world view. 

ENGA 7100  (3)   Medieval Literature & Politics of Conversion  (Yeager)                          Call # 12923          M 2:00-4:00

This course explores medieval conversion narratives, ranging from religious conversions exemplified in hagiographical literature, to gender transitions as seen in the Roman de Silence.  While examining the shared patterns behind such texts, we will move across genres including religious vitae, such as the Life of St. Cristopher, along with other texts that highlight conversions, simulations, and disguises of all kinds.  In reading the romances The King of Tars, Sir Gowther, and the late-medieval poem, The Testament of Cresseid, we will encounter aspects of somatic transition, and gender and spiritual conversion, and we will study the historical context and political desires underlying such portrayals.  By moving among such texts, we will also address larger issues such as truth-claims in medieval society, the fashioning of identity, and the performance of self.

HSGA 6065  (4)   The Crusades  (Paul)                                                                                        Call # 12921          T 4:45-7:15

Few areas of medieval scholarship have received as much attention in recent decades as have the crusades. These efforts have resulted in a total reassessment of the wars waged by Latin Christians against their perceived enemies both within Europe and beyond its frontiers and have generated new debates about what defined a crusade, what motivated participants, and about the place of the crusades in the making of Europe as a geographic and political entity. This course will address the methodology and findings of historians who have worked on these topics and others including the origins of the crusade, the often violent relationships between crusaders and Jews, the contributions of the military orders, and the perspectives of those who were the targets of crusades. Central to our approach will be the understanding that the crusades were shaped by, and in turn helped to shape, many aspects of the medieval world; its economy, society, religion, culture, and politics.  

HSGA 8150  (4)   Seminar: Medieval England   (Kowaleski)                                                     Call # 12088         M 4:45-7:15

Students continue to work on the research project they defined in the Proseminar to this course.  They also learn to design and use a computer database that includes data gathered in the course of research on the final paper, participate in seminars to improve their academic writing and public speaking skills, and familiarize themselves with professional standards for writing a scholarly article, giving a talk at an academic conference, and writing an academic curriculum vitae.  They complete the seminar by giving a 20-minute conference paper on their research project and writing a thesis-length original research paper that could be published as a scholarly article.

PHGA 5010  (3)   Introduction to Aquinas     (Klima)                                                                  Call# 12067          F 3:30-5:30

This course provides a systematic, introductory survey of Aquinas's philosophical thought. After briefly placing his life and works in their narrower as well as broader historical context, we shall start the systematic survey of Aquinas's philosophy with taking stock of the basic concepts and principles of his hylomorphist metaphysics. On this basis, we can move on to his philosophy of God, and philosophy of human nature (including his philosophy of mind and epistemology), which will provide the metaphysical foundations for a brief discussion of his ethics and philosophy of law. Throughout these discussions, we are going to confront Aquinas's ideas with criticisms coming from medieval as well as modern philosophers.

PHGA 5012  (3)   Introduction to Saint Augustine   (Pini)                                                       Call #12068             T  7:00-9:00

This course will provide a survey of the main works and themes of St. Augustine’s philosophy and theology. Topics will include faith and reason; divine ideas; time, eternity, and creation; the theology of the Holy Trinity; the nature of the soul; skepticism; divine foreknowledge and predestination and human free will; the problem of evil; original sin and divine grace; happiness; the human history as the history of salvation. These topics will be approached by studying relevant sections from Augustine’s major works. Each work and each doctrine will be considered both from a philosophical point of view and in the context of Augustine’s own evolution. Special attention will be devoted to Augustine’s attitude towards ancient thought (Neoplatonism, Skepticism, Stoicism). Also, his influence on later thought will be occasionally considered. Requirements include: attendance and participation in the discussion; a paper proposal (2-3 pages); and a final paper (20-25 pages).

PHGA 6359  (3)   Nominalism  (Klima)                                                                                       Call #12908             T 4:30-3:30

Nominalism, according to the common understanding of the term, is a position on the ontological status of universal, which claims that it is primarily (or even exclusively) words that are universals, as opposed to the two competing theoretical alternatives, namely, conceptualism, according to which the primary universals are concepts, and realism, according to which the primary universals are things. Both historically and theoretically, there are a number of problems with this simple scheme. The analysis of these problems through the works of the most prominent medieval nominalists (in particular, Ockham, Buridan, Albert of Saxony and Peter of Ailly) contrasted with some late-medieval realists (Cajetan, Soto and Suarez) shows that nominalism is not so much a distinctive ontological position (although nominalists as a rule are indeed committed to relatively parsimonious ontologies) as a distinctive way of construing the fundamental relationships between words, concepts and things. Issues covered will include: the problem of universals, common natures and individuation, being and essence, the univocity vs. analogy of being; signification, connotation, supposition, ampliation and ontological commitment; mental language and cognitive attitudes, the semantics of propositions, the objects of knowledge and belief.

PHGA 7066  (3)   Aquinas: Set Texts  (Davies)                                                                        Call #12073              M 7:00-9:00

In this course we shall aim to understand and comment on what Aquinas teaches about the existence and nature of God in Summa Theologiae Ia, 1-26. For much of the time I shall lecture on the texts. But students shall also be asked to give brief expository and critical presentations of various passages from Ia, 1-26 leading to class discussion.  The required text for the course is: Brian Davies and Brian Leftow (ed.), Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Questions on God (Cambridge UP, 2006).

RSGA 6370  (3)   Saint Maximus the Confessor  (Behr)                                                        Call # 12916             T 1:00-3:00 St Maximus the Confessor (c.580-662) stands at the highpoint of the Greek patristic tradition, summing up the earlier strands of theological reflection - the exegetical tradition of the Alexandrians, the Christology of Chalcedon and the neo-Chalcedonians, the apophaticism and cosmic vision of Dionysius, and the spiritual writings of Evagrius, Macarius and Diadochus - into a remarkable synthesis, unsurpased in later Byzantine theology, and only beginning to be appreciated again in recent decades. After an introduction to his background, each week will be devoted to a different text of Maximus, covering a variety of genres and topics. The class will be held in Seminar format, with each student expected to lead discussions, to write a book review of a major study of Maximus, and a research paper on a topic of interest. A knowledge of Greek is desirable, but not essential (texts will be read in translation).

RSGA 6466  (3)   Hagiography  (Tilley)                                                                                     Call #12914              T 1:00-3:00

This course surveys methods for researching and writing about as well as evaluating the religious functions of stories of holy people. Examples are primarily from late antiquity and the Middle Ages.

FRGA 5090  (0)   French for Reading   (Harris)                                                                          Call # 12255           T 4:15-6:45

GEGA 5002  (0)   German for Reading  (Ray)                                                                             Call # 12256    MR 11:30-12:45


Advance Notice of Summer 2007 courses

MVGA 5800  (4)                  Women in Medieval Religious Life                 (Oliva)         Summer Session I: TR 1:00-4:00

LAGA 5090  (0)                   Latin for Reading (at LC)                   (Owesny)    Summer Session I: MW 6:00-9:00

LAGA 5093  (3)                   Ecclesiastical Latin                                            (Clark)         Summer Session II: MW 6:00-9:00

Study of the grammatical structure, form, and vocabulary of Church Latin, focusing on the Bible, the Church Fathers, and medieval thinkers.

FRGA 5090  (0)                   French for Reading                                             (Staff)         Summer Session I: TR afternoons

ITGA 5090  (0)                     Italian for Reading                                              (Staff)        Summer Session I: TR evenings    

SPGA 5090  (0)                   Spanish for Reading                                           (Staff)         Summer Session I: MW evenings

Last modified: November 6, 2006
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