Description: The world's major religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
Description: Asian religions in philosophical, ritual, ethical, contemplative, and historical contexts. Essential texts, ideas, beliefs, and practices of the three main religious traditions of South and East Asia. Hinduism and in South Asia. Daoism in East Asia. Buddhism in South and East Asia. Traditional and modern expressions of Asian religions.
Description: Explores religious, particularly Christian, responses to social justice issues such as peace, poverty, oppression, discrimination, the environment, the death penalty and abortion.
Description: Readings and documents from church history dealing with attitudes toward women in Western religious thought. How this thinking has influenced theological concepts confronting women today and the role of theology in leading toward the emancipation of women in contemporary society.
Description: Introduction to the religious traditions in America through thematic, historical, denominational and cultural considerations. Emphasizes the variety and diversity of religious experiences in America, including Native American, Protestant, Catholic, African-American, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
Description: Introduction to religion as an academic subject. Examines religion in terms of four interconnected elements: myth, ritual, transformative experience, and ethics. Representative materials drawn from different religions and cultures, including both western and non-western traditions.
Description: A comparative study of the three great monotheistic faiths, from their historic beginnings to their present-day manifestations.
Description: Topic varies.
Prerequisites: Good standing in the University Honors Program or by invitation.
Description: Topic varies.
Description: Introduction to the nature and range of religious traditions in western culture from the Bronze Age to the present as seen through selected primary religious texts. Nature of religion and religious tradition, how these function to shape our view of self and society, and how religion functions to render human experience interpretable and significant.
Description: Introduction to the religion and history of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an, jihad, Islamic theology and law, Sufism, and modern Islam. Diversity of Islam in contrast to images of monolithic Islam. Status of women. Islam in the United States.
Description: The history of Jewish-Christian relations from the birth of Christianity until the present. Readings from primary and secondary sources as written by Jewish and Christian authors.
Description: Pauline literature, Paul's interpretation of Jesus, and his work as missionary to the Gentiles. Acts and the Pauline Epistles are primary sources. Contemporary analyses of Pauline thought and its importance for the contemporary situation.
Description: Survey of Islam's development from its origins to the present. Includes Islamic theology, art, and literature, the structure of traditional Islamic societies, and the changing role of Islam in the modern world.
Description: Survey of he natures of religions prevalent in European cultures before 1000 C.E. Differing cultures and peoples and the role of religion in their interaction. The nature of pagan European culture and religion, and analysis of the conversion to Christianity. Conflicts between pagan and Christian culture as related in cultural artifacts like texts, art, ritual, and linguistic history. Cultural adaptations of Greek and Latin Christianity.
Description: Impact of the Judaeo-Christian tradition upon the development of Western civilization. Pre-1800 content.
Description: Survey of the history of the Land of Israel from Biblical times to the present. Includes Roman and Byzantine rule, the Crusades, Islamic Palestine, Zionism and the modern state of Israel, and the religious importance of the land for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Description: Buddhist traditions from several perspectives. Historical, philosophical, contemplative, and ethical dimensions of Buddhism. The Buddha and his teachings, development of the Buddhist community, and early forms of Buddhism. The rise of Mahayana, Buddhist philosophical and contemplative systems, and different models of the Buddhist path and its stages. Buddhist traditions of South and East Asia. Contemporary Buddhist perspectives on ethics and bioethics, transformations of Buddhist practices in Europe and America, and contemporary Buddhist education in the West.
Description: Survey of the history of the Jewish people from Biblical times to the present. The Old Testament, Ancient Israel, the Talmud, the relationship to Christianity and Islam, persecution and self-government in the middle ages, Jewish philosophy and mysticism, emancipation, modern anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, Zionism, the modern state of Israel, and the Jewish experience in America.
Description: Issues arising from the attempt to understand the human encounter with the divine. Introduces the study of philosophical theology. Significant figures from the past and contemporary approaches.
Description: The clash between science and religion, past and present. Are current scientific theories of the origin of the universe and the evolution of matter, life and mind compatible with religious belief' Responses to science by various religious movements.
Description: Study of the religious history of African Americans from the seventeenth to the early twenty-first centuries through the motif of movement-literal, metaphorical, and spiritual. Main topics include the influence of African religious beliefs and practices on the creation of new diasporic African-American religious traditions, "slave religion," the formation of independent black churches, African-American Islamic traditions, social protest movements, religion in African-American literature, black womanist movements, and the rise of a "black, Christian Presidency.
Description: Study the influence of religion on all sides of key national debates through a historical, cultural, and comparative ethical examination of the intersection of religion and politics in American history.
Description: Philosophical, ritual, ethical, contemplative, and historical dimensions of Tibetan Buddhism. Popular forms of Buddhism. Tibetan art and architecture. Relationship of Buddhist learning and practice. Tibetan Buddhism texts. Contemporary Buddhist practices. Tibetan monastic education and debate culture. Tibetan Buddhist education in the West.
Description: Concepts of love, sexuality and femininity as studied in their historical, religious and sociological contexts. Letter grade only.
Description: Introduction to the religious practices of ancient Greece from the prehistoric through the classical periods. Myth and ritual and the evidence from art history and archaeology.
Description: A diachronic approach to Quran as a literature. Provides an analytic, linguistic as well as the critical study of both the Qur'anic text and its exegeses. Letter grade only.
Description: Life, literature, thought, and institutions of the Christian movement from Jesus to Constantine. A critical, historical approach to the sources in English translation and how they reflect the interaction of Christian, Jew, and pagan in late antiquity. Includes the historical Jesus vis-a-vis the Christ of Faith, the impact of Paul's thought, the formation of Christian dogma, methods of interpreting canonical and extra-canonical Christian literature, the problem of heresy and orthodoxy.
Prerequisites: JUDS/RELG 205 or permission.
Description: Dead Sea Scrolls, including the history and thought of the Qumran inhabitants, the archaeology of Qumran, and the corpus of the Scrolls. Concentration on the reading of selected primary texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Description: Six traditions in the history of religious thought, from Greek and medieval conceptions of divinity through the Enlightenment to the modern era, including existentialist, humanistic, and atheistic responses to religion, and Buddhist thought. A comparative look at central religious ideas within these traditions contrasting western and non-western conceptions of ultimate reality, self, ethics, and responses to evil.
Description: The social, political and intellectual dimensions of the conflict between the old and new religions of the empire.
Description: Diversity of Islam in the modern world. Muslim responses to modernity. Traditionalism, securlarism, Islamic modernism, and "Islamic fundamentalism".
Prerequisites: Sophomore level standing or higher
Description: An introduction to the Crusades and the idea of holy war in the middle ages from both the Christian and Islamic perspectives.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission.
Description: The cultural, social, and religious institutions of Ancient Israel from their antecedents in the Late Bronze Age until the Great Jewish Revolt and the beginning of Rabbinic Judaism. Literary works and material remains of the Israelites, and evidence from surrounding cultures.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission.
Description: Traces the emergence and development of a distinctive Jewish culture and identity in medieval Europe and in the regions bordering the Mediterranean sea from the birth of rabbinic Judaism under the Roman empire until the seventeenth century orthodox synthesis of Talmudic learning, Kabbalah, and custom and Jewish responses to the Englightenment. Includes interaction of Jews with majority cultures (including the development of anti-Semitism), and the impact of Jews and Jewish learning upon western culture.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission.
Description: Examines the history of the Jewish people since the 18th century with geographical foci on Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Emphasis on the Jewish Enlightenment, emancipation and assimilation, anti-Semitism, migration to and adaptation in America, Zionism and the modern state of Israel.
Description: Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Hebrew Bible and/or Old Testament from 400 BCE to 1800 CE. Readings from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, the Church Fathers and the Talmud, medieval and early modern Christian and Jewish biblical commentators.
Description: Seminal texts from the Tibetan, Theravada, and Chinese Buddhist canons in English translations. Perfection of Wisdom, Lotus, Pure Land, Flower Garland, Descent to Lanka, and other scriptures that comprise the foundation of the Buddhist canons. Influential commentaries on those scriptures written by Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, and other seminal thinkers whose works assumed canonical status.
Description: Role and status of women as depicted in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament. The stories and laws concerning women found in the Bible and from extra-biblical evidence.
Description: Examination of the Quran, the scripture of Islam.
Description: Analysis of Buddhist contemplative systems from different angles and in diverse cultural contexts. Meditation systems of Theravada Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. Indian and Tibetan contemplative systems of Mahayana Buddhism. Visualization practices of Himalayan Vajrayana Buddhism.
Description: Issues in the field of Religious Studies. Diverse methods and approaches in the study of the issues. Sample topics: religious experience across cultures; the nature and interpretation of scriptures and sacred texts; religion as self-defined and externally understood; and the relation of religion to Western science.
This course is a prerequisite for: RELG 419
Description: Perspectives of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese religions on ritual practices, contemplative techniques, devotional elements, philosophical questions, and ethical issues related to death, immortality, and transcendence. Asian religious perspectives on the issues of death, rebirth, and postmortem existence. The nature of ghosts, ancestors, divinities, and their role in daily life. Funerary and other death-related rituals. Ethical and bio-ethical issues of killing, suicide, abortion, and euthanasia.
Description: Early Buddhist teachings and Theravada doctrines of the four noble truths, selflessness, cyclic existence and nirvana, structure of consciousness and external universe. Later interpretations of emptiness, perception, buddha-nature and other ideas by Madhyamaka (Middle Way) and Cittamatra (Mind Only)¿the two major systems of Mahayana Buddhism. Polemical issues in the Buddhist thought. Synthesis of major systems of thought by later Mahayana thinkers.
Description: The tools and concepts for understanding the social organization of religion, and religion as a lived experience, in a given setting. Analyze religion's function within a social setting to understand one of the following phenomena: (a) the position(s) of religion within a public space; (b) the shifting boundaries of religious and non-religious activity; (c) the fluid nature of orthodoxy and heterodoxy; and (d) the use of violence as a means of religious coercion. The topics covered in RELG 381 are determined by the instructor.
Description: Topics vary.
Description: Research on one topic under the direction of a faculty member with emphasis on methodology, familiarity with primary and secondary source materials, and composition of scholarly literature. Letter Grade only
Description: Examination of the religious institutions, philosophies, and lifeways of the Hellenistic Age from Alexander to Constantine. Includes civic religion of Greece and Rome, popular religion, mystery cults, Judaism, Christianity, popular and school philosophies (Platonism, Aristotelianism, Epicureanism, Cynicism, Stoicism), Gnosticism. History, interrelationships, emerging world view of these movements.
Description: Examination of the nature, history, literature, ritual, and impact of the classical Gnostic religions, 100 BCE to 400 CE. Extensive reading of original Gnostic treatises in English translation, with particular attention to their appropriation and transformation of earlier Jewish, Christian, and pagan religious and philosophical traditions. The principal Gnostic schools to be treated are Simonians, Sethians, Valentinians, Hermetics, and Manichaeans.
Description: Phenomenon of religious fundamentalism. Theories advanced to define and explain fundamentalism. Examples of fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
Prerequisites: Junior standing and RELG 350
Description: Employs a public history approach to explore the often contentious and sometimes violent history of producing and displaying symbolic objects in the sacred spaces of American civil religion. Explores the changes to the fields of material culture, museum studies, critical race and gender studies, and legal history, which have evolved to include the stories of marginalized Americans in the narration of American history.
Prerequisites: Junior standing
Description: The cultural and intellectual developments of the German Reformation against its social background. The religious and political events of the first half of the sixteenth century. Transition from medieval to modern Christianity. The transmission and revolutionary nature of evangelical doctrines. The gradual institutionalization of the new churches.
Prerequisites: Junior standing or permission
Description: Life and thought of significant figures and schools of thought in the Reformation period
A previous course in Buddhism or Asian religions is recommended.
Description: Different presentations of the Buddhist path and its result from the perspectives of Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism in its Indo-Tibetan form including Tantra, East-Asian Zen, and Pure Land Buddhism. Enlightenment as a gradual versus a sudden process; innate enlightenment versus enlightenment as a distant possibility; relationship of conceptuality and non-conceptual realization of reality; and stages of the path.