"Caravaggio’s The Sacrifice of Isaac"
by Will Barnes
This paper examines Caravaggio’s Sacrifice of Isaac, arguing that Caravaggio’s portrayal of the story deviates from the biblical narrative. Through an examination of the figures of the angel, Abraham, and Isaac, Caravaggio’s problematic interpretation of Scripture is revealed. Comparison of representations of the same encounter in early Christian art along with Rembrandt’s portrayal of the event further elucidates Caravaggio’s disregard for Scriptural accuracy in favor of his naturalistic technique.
"The Life of the Servus Dei in The Rule of St. Benedict"
by Amy Freeman
The following paper examines how the concept of avodah, a Hebrew term for both work and worship, can be found in The Rule of St. Benedict. Like the concept of avodah, Benedict’s understanding of work is closely tied to his understanding of the Christian as a servus Dei, a servant of God. The intimate relationship between prayer, manual labor, and deeds of mercy is expressed through the Latin term opus.
"Effects of Note-taking on Recall of Nonsense Syllables through Working Memory"
by Kassidy Knighten
While numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of note-taking either in conjunction with review or as a generative activity, little research has explored the benefits of note-taking’s encoding function, as opposed to using no memory aid. In this experiment, 40 undergraduate students recruited from Baylor University were randomly assigned to two groups, note-takers and non-note-takers. Participants watched a slideshow presentation featuring a series of 15 nonsense syllables, participated in a verbal intermediate activity, and completed a test of free recall. The results of the independent samples’t t test were significant, with non-note-takers recalling more nonsense syllables on average than note-takers. Within the context of working memory theory, these results suggest that the cognitive effort involved in note-taking, the lack of review, and the novelty of the presented information collectively diminished the positive effects of note-taking on recall.
"Islamophobia in the Post-Bush Era"
by Kathryn Mason
The trauma of September 11, 2001, will remain a vivid memory for those old enough to remember hearing or seeing the events. What most people do not realize, however, is that the images and stories of those events are not the only results of the terrorist attacks. We as Americans view the attacks from the victim’s point of view, but what about those on “the other side?” This paper discusses the effects the 9/11 attacks had on those with an Islamic or Middle Eastern background by analyzing how President Bush created an enemy of not only al-Quaeda, but also any person associated with their race, culture, and religion. This paper presents the harmful attitude the former President instilled in the nation at a time of crisis.
"Achieving Balance: The Interaction of Prose and Poetry in Jeremiah 31:31-37"
by David Wiseman
Though Jeremiah 31 was once interpreted almost exclusively through the lens of Hebrews, recent exegesis has placed increasing importance on the distinct contexts that prevailed at the time of the prophecy’s writing. Using these considerations as a foundation, this paper attempts a more nuanced interpretation of the “new covenant” in Jeremiah 31:31-37 as addressed to the postexilic Israelites. Such an approach not only allows for greater thematic and symbolic harmony between the prose and poetry subunits of the excerpt, but also reveals the ultimate continuity of God’s promises to his chosen people.