Santa Clara University

Dr. Jody Pinault
Location: Kenna Hall
Courses taught:
The Christian Tradition
The Early Church

Jody Pinault, Ph.D.

Quarterly Adjunct Lecturer

    During the course of my education and after (B.A. in English and Latin, M.A. and Ph.D. in Classical Studies, all from the University of Pennsylvania), I have returned again and again to the experience of the Divine in the Mediterranean world. Especially compelling to me has been the intersection of ancient Greek and Roman culture with Jewish and Christian beliefs and practices ("Decircumcision in Celsus: Some Medical and Historical Implications," Urology 16 (1980) 121-124; and "The Medical Case for Virginity in the Early Second Century C.E.: Soranus of Ephesus, Gynecology I.32," Helios 19 (1992) 123-139).

    In my early teaching years, at Colgate University (1988-1993), I was able to explore these interests further, during the weekly faculty seminars, required of all who taught the mandatory core survey course, General Education I, which stretched from Genesis through Galileo. Both at Colgate and at Santa Clara University, in the Classics, English, and Religious Studies Departments (full-time1997-2001, part-time 2002 to the present), I used ancient texts as springboards for teaching writing (I had been a professional copy writer before graduate school and a professional copy editor during and after my graduate studies).

    Over the past decade I have experimented with visual modes of expressing the Divine during course work in the visual arts, even as I have continued to teach the course I developed at SCU, Longings for Immortality: Imagining the Afterlife from Gilgamesh to Cyberspace, bringing in recent developments in neuroscience and expanding the visual component. At the same time, I have continued to read and meditate on the teaching of the Greek and Roman philosophers, especially Plato and Epictetus. During this period, too, I have had the chance to renew my study of early Christianity in the Roman Empire, which I began in graduate school. My study of ancient Greek and Roman authors inspired my catechetical studies, which, in turn, led to my baptism and entry into the Catholic Church in 1985.

    In my current courses, The Christian Tradition (TESP 4) and The Early Church (SCTR 65), I try to bring together all of these aspects of my training and experience, to offer my students a scaffolding in theology, history, ideas, and art that will stand them in good stead, as well as the inspired words and examples of men and women from the past who can help them think about the challenges they will face in their own lives in the years ahead.

Selected Publications:

"Women, Fat, and Fertility," in Women's Power, Man's Game: Essays on Classical Antiquity in Honor of Joy King, ed. Mary DeForest, pp. 78-90. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1993.

Hippocratic Lives and Legends. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992.

"The Medical Case for Virginity in the Early Second Century C.E.: Soranus of Ephesus, Gynecology I.32," Helios 19 (1992) 123-139.

"How Hippocrates Cured the Plague," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 41(1986) 52-75.

"Decircumcision in Celsus: Some Medical and Historical Implications," Urology 16 (1980) 121-124.