About this Course:
"Religious Roots of Social Welfare" was a seminar offered at Boston University in the spring of 1990, co-taught by Professors Emily Albu Hanawalt and Carter Lindberg. In addition to seminar discussion, the course consisted of a lecture series by international scholars, funded by the Boston University Humanities Foundation and the Lilly Endowment. For the final, published lectures, see Emily Albu Hanawalt and Carter Lindberg, ed., Through the Eye of a Needle: Judeo-Christian Roots of Social Welfare, Kirksville, MO: The Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1994)
The class met twice a week (first and second meetings of each week are noted below as "a" and "b"). Students were graded by their active participation in the seminar and one 20-page research paper; doctoral student papers were expected to be suitable for publication.
Note: Full bibliographic information is lacking from a number of the readings listed below but should be easily available from your library catalog or the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) database of journal articles.
Books to Purchase:
Week 1a: Introduction and Historiography of Religion and Welfare
Week 1b: Religious Roots of Social Welfare: An Overview; Reading: Carter Lindberg, "Through a Glass Darkly: A history of the Church's vision of the poor and poverty," The Ecumenical Review 33 (1981), 37-52.
Week 2a: Classical Greek and Roman Teaching on Wealth and Poverty; Reading: Mullen pp 9-24.
Week 2b: Ancient Israel on Wealth and Poverty; Readings:
Week 3a: Guest lecture: Paul Hanson (Harvard University): "Prophets and Profits: Ancient Israel's Contributions"
Week 3b: The New Testament on Wealth and Poverty; Readings:
Week 4a: Guest lecture: Howard C. Kee (Boston University): "Through the Eye of a Needle: Rich and Poor in the New Testament and Early Christianity"
Week 4b: The Early Church; Readings:
Week 5a: Guest lecture: Susan Ashbrook Harvey (Brown University): "The Holy and the Poor: Models from Early Syriac Christianity"
Week 5b: The Medieval Church; Readings:
[week 6a: no class]
Week 6b: Byzantine Bases for Social Welfare; Readings:
Week 7a: Guest lecture: Alexander Kazhdan (Dumbarton Oaks): "Byzantium and Social Welfare"
Week 7b: The Medieval Church; Readings:
Week 8a: Medieval Destitution and Plague; Readings:
Week 8b: Guest lecture: Timothy S. Miller (Salisbury State University): "Byzantine Hospitals and Orphanages"
Week 9a: Hospitals and Institutions of Charity in the West
Week 9b: Beggars, Vagrants and the Police in the Late Middle Ages; Readings:
Week 10a:Guest lecture: Brenda Bolton (University of London): "Hearts not purses: Pope Innocent III's Attitude to Social Welfare"
[week 10b: Seminar discussion]
Week 11a: Guest lecture: Alice-Mary Talbot (Dumbarton Oaks): "Byzantine Women, Saints' Lives and Social Welfare"
Week 11b: Guest lecture: Lester K. Little (Smith College): "Religion, the Profit Economy, and St. Francis"
Week 12a: Worship and Welfare in the Early Reformation; Readings:
Week 12b: Post-Reformation Developments; Readings:
Week 13a: Guest lecture: Thomas Riis (Danish Committee for Urban History, Denmark): "Religion and Early Modern Social Welfare"; Recommended readings :
Week 13b: Discussion
Week 14a: Guest lecture: Max Stackhouse (Andover-Newton Theological School): "Religion and Modern Social Welfare"; Recommended readings:
Week 14b: Guest lecture: André Vauchez (University of Paris-Nanterre): "Confraternities and Guilds in the Late Middle Ages"
Week 15a: Concluding Session
As noted above, the text of the guest lectures is now available in print: Emily Albu Hanawalt and Carter Lindberg, ed., Through the Eye of a Needle: Judeo-Christian Roots of Social Welfare, Kirksville, MO: The Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1994)
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