As I was about to begin my teaching career at Arizona State University in 1977, I shared with one of my colleagues at another university that I was going to teach a course on women in the Christian tradition. He jokingly responded, “Well, that should take about ten minutes. What are you going to do the rest of the semester?” Accepting what I perceived as a well-intentioned challenge, I have occasionally sent him a syllabus for one of the two courses on women and religion which I regularly teach in alternate semesters. Although continuing research, new publications, and insights gleaned from previous classes demand that I change the courses slightly each semester, a perennial frustration remains: the sixteen-week semester is barely adequate for an in-depth study of relevant reading materials, pertinent issues raised, and questions demanding response.
The two courses I alternately teach are “Women in the Christian Tradition” and “Women, Religion, and Social Change” (World Religions). The first I have taught regularly since my arrival at Arizona State (my area is History of Christianity). The second developed as a consequence of a stimulating and provocative team-teaching effort with Diana Paul at Stanford University where I was invited to teach for Winter and Spring quarters, 1980-81. We team-taught the course, “Women, Religion, and Social Change.”