In this course, students will look at selected texts from the Christian Bible. Praise, Didactic, and Apocalyptic Literature will be examined. Students will have the opportunity to write poems based on the Psalms, the teachings of Jesus, the parables of Jesus, and the apocalyptic literature of the early Christian Church.
Week I--Parallelism: The Psalms. Simple Parallelism, Chiastic Structure, and Advanced Parallelism. Focus: Psalm 137.
How did the psalms originate? What is their historical use? What is their current use? What is parallelism? What is Chiastic Structure? What are some different kind of Psalms?
Students will have the opportunity to write a poem on a psalm or a section of a psalm of their choice.
Week II--Didactic Literature: The Sermon on the Mount/Plain. Focus: The Beatitudes
What is the Sermon? Why does it have two different names? How do the accounts of St. Matthew and St. Luke differ? How does the Sermon fit into the overall teaching of Jesus? What are the Beatitudes?
Students will have the opportunity to write a poem based on the Beatitudes or on another section of the Sermon.
Week III--Didactic Literature: Parables. Focus: The Good Samaritan
What are parables? What is their form and function? How would some parables be heard today? How do they figure in the overall teaching of Jesus?
Students will have an opportunity to write a poem based on The Parable of the Good Samaritan or another parable of their choice.
Week IV--Eschatological and Apocalyptic Literature. Focus: The Book of Revelation
What is the Book of Revelation? Who authored it? How did it end up in the Christian Bible? Why is it controversial? What is eschatology? What is apocalypticism? Why is the Book of Revelation a book of hope?
Students will have an opportunity to write a poem based on a passage from the Book of Revelation of their choice.
|About The Instructor:
Alvin Thomas Ethington (B.A. With Highest Honors, Oberlin College, 1979; M. Div. With Honors, Yale University, 1983) is a noted teacher, writer, and reviewer. He has taught at Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, California and Triton College, River Grove, Illinois. He prepared community college students for study at major private and public four-year colleges and universities, including Pitzer College, Claremont, California; the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and the University of Illinois-Chicago campus.
He is a published author and was recently honored for his haiku. His poem "haiku (empty chair)" is on the audio tour of The Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California, Poets on Site Tour.
He specializes in languages, culture, and religion. He has substituted for the Greek instructor at California State University at Fullerton and has tutored Biblical Hebrew.
He has been a member of FanStory since 2006 and has won Reviewer of the Month six times. He has also performed pre-publication editing for the former Bishop of Los Angeles, Episcopal (The Rt. Rev. Frederick Houk Borsch) and reviewed college textbooks.
His philosophy on teaching comes from his work as a counselor--he believes that teaching should be student-centered and designs his courses according to the students' needs.