Part of the Center’s mission is to help revive and focus some excellent but intermittent pedagogical practices. In the 1990s, for example, on three occasions Chicago’s graduate faculty offered a year-long sequence of courses in ancient religion, one in the fall on Near Eastern religion (Ritner and J.Z. Smith), a winter course on Greek Religion (team-taught by Faraone, Lincoln and Redfield) and a spring section on Roman Religion (Gary Forsythe) or Hellenistic Religions (Smith).
Collaborative Teaching in Graduate Seminars
Over the last decade and a half our faculty have team-taught a number of graduate seminars on ancient religions:
- “Greek and North Semitic Religious Inscriptions” (Faraone and Pardee)
- “The Greek Magical Papyri” (Betz and Faraone)
- “Text, Image and the Representation of Ritual” (Faraone, Pinney and Slatkin)
- “Ancient Hebrew and Greek Wisdom Literature” (Faraone, Collins and Slatkin)
- “Divination and Oracles in the Ancient World” (Faraone and Lincoln)
- “Greek Religion in its Historical Context” (Hall and Faraone)
- “Religious Art at Dura-Europos” (Elsner and Mitchell)
- “Orphism” (Faraone and Martinez).
The Center is interested in helping organize exhibits on appropriate themes at the Smart Museum and the Oriental Institute. One of our former graduates students, Ian Moyer (Michigan), curated an exhibit in 2002–2003 called “Sacred Fragments: Magic, Mystery, and Religion in the Ancient World”.
Beginning in 2009 CSAR will organize one jointly-taught graduate seminar each year at Chicago:
- Spring 2009: “The Religions of Greco-Roman Egypt” (Faraone, Martinez, Ritner and Torallas Tovar).
- Spring 2010: “Health and Healing in Ancient Greek Ritual and Thought” (Faraone and Redfield).
CSAR occasionally subsidizes team-taught traveling seminars to the Mediterranean on topics concerned with ancient religions.
These graduate seminars are taught in two parts: the first 5–6 weeks in Chicago involve background lectures and assignment of student presentations. The last 3–4 weeks will be spent in the Mediterranean visiting archaeological sites and/or museums, at which students will give detailed presentations on monuments or inscriptions.
In Winter 2011 CSAR subsidized a traveling seminar on “The Cults of Magna Graeca” (Faraone and Redfield).