College Year in Athens with Cameron Afzal

The Geography of Faith: Paul, Christianity and the Greek City
College Year in Athens, Summer 2009
Cameron Afzal

I was given the opportunity to teach last summer in Greece as part of the College Year in Athens Summer session.  This was an exciting way to enrich my own teaching here at Sarah Lawrence, as well as having the occasion to meet and teach bright students from other institutions across the US. I taught a class called Paul, Christianity and the Greek City.  It was intended to give the students an overview of the spread of Christianity into the Greco-Roman world from the Holy Land. To this end we studied the history, politics, religion, and sociology of the period focusing on Paul's "mission to the gentiles." We read Paul's letters with a view to understanding his theology as well as what would have made what he preached attractive to various sorts of people in the Greek City in the mid first century of the Common Era. This was an intensive course of study involving at least two hours of seminar a day, coupled with a visits to the most important archeological sites related to the Pauline corpus.  We visited Ephesus, Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth and Athens as well as other important sites, such as Delphi and Vergina, which would help inform our understanding of the social realities of the time. This was an extremely successful course which will be taught  again in the summer of 2010 on the College Year of Athens (CYA) summer program. Please do not hesitate to contact me at or visit the CYA Web site, for further information.